Letter from SOCIETY OF ARTS to JAMES BARRY, written 23 November 1789, at Adelphi, London

Source: Fryer, Works of Barry, ii. 465-66; the letter was first printed in Barry's A Letter to the Right Honourable the President, Vice-Presidents, and the rest of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, London, 1793; it is thus a copy of the original.

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). Barry included him in his painting The Distribution of Premiums in the Society of Arts, in the Adelphi.

Since the letter has no conclusion or signature, it may be an incomplete version of the original.

Mr. More here tells Barry the Prince of Wales is prepared to sit for Barry again if he wishes to finalise his portrait for The Distribution of Premiums (see More to Barry, 4 June 1789).

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Adelphi , Nov. 23 1789


Mr. More presents his compliments to Mr. Barry, acquaints him, that he has this day delivered to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales the letter of acknowledgement and thanks of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, to his Royal Highness, for the gracious condescension his Royal Highness has been pleased to shew towards the Society, by sitting to James Barry, Esq.; R. A. in order that the portrait of his Royal Highness might be introduced into the series of pictures in the Society's great room.

And Mr. M. More has also to acquaint Mr. Barry, that the Prince was pleased to direct Mr. More to inform Mr. Barry, that if he wishes to touch the picture any more, his Royal Highness will be ready to sit again on Friday morning.1