Letter from SOCIETY OF ARTS to JAMES BARRY, written 18 October 1784, at Adelphi, London

Source: MS James Barry Papers and Letters, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University. Cover: To
James Barry EsqrEsquire

The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (1754), known as the Society of Arts, adopted its present title, the Royal Society of Arts, in 1908 when King Edward VII granted the right to the term 'Royal'.

Samuel More (1726-99), apothecary and administrator, was elected Secretary of the Society in 1770; he was also made a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1774, probably at the proposal of the American author, politician and scientist Benjamin Franklin (1706-90)(D.G.C.Allan,'“Dear and Serviceable to Each Other”: Benjamin Franklin and the Royal Society of Arts', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society,144 (3), September 2000, p. 262). See also, G.E. Mercer, 'Mr. More of the Adelphi', The Virtuoso Tribe of Arts & Sciences : Studies in the Eighteenth-century Work and Membership of the London Society of Arts, eds. D.G.C. Allan and John L. Abbott (London, 1992), pp. 307-35.

Since 1781 Barry had sole use of the Great Room of the Society of Arts in the Adelphi so that he could work on his six pictures The Progress of Human Culture. This meant that the Society no longer held its meetings there. The Secretary now sends Barry a draft notice for his approval that meetings will resume in the Great Room.

Full display

M.r More presents his Compliments to M.r Barry and having drawn up an Advertisement for the Meetings of the Society in which his Name appears 1 thinks it proper to Submit the same to M.r Barry's Consideration before he sends it for insertion in the public papers and will readily make any Alteration in it which M.r B. shall judge necessary2

Oct.brOctober 18. 1784