PP/GC/LE/88 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, about the membership of the National Gallery Commission, 2 December [1856]
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Chancellor of the Exchequer], Downing Street, [Whitehall, London], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he had hoped that a personal application from Palmerston might have moved the Duke of Newcastle to serve on the National Gallery commission. However, the government may be driven to the necessity of paying the commission. He has written to Lord Broughton and the other commissioners. If Broughton accepts, he may be chairman. If he refuses, Milman has been kept in reserve. Panizzi and Lewis have prepared a letter to Campana offering him the valuation price for his art collection, subject to the confirmation of Parliament. If Palmerston approves, the letter will be sent. 2 Dec [1856] Enclosed is a letter from Henry Pelham Pelham-Clinton, fifth Duke of Newcastle, Clumber, [Nottinghamshire], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he is very unwilling to decline to assist the government with the National Gallery Commission, but fears he must do so. "It will be an invidious duty on account of the strong personal feelings which have become involved in the questions to be considered and the unfair manner in which royal names have been dragged into the dispute, but these considerations should not deter me, rather the reverse, if other reasons did not intervene." An early consideration of the question and prompt decision are required. When Parliament meets it will expect to hear that the enquiry is at least in progress. Newcastle cannot spare the requisite time and cannot stay in London until Easter. The chairman of the Commission must be prepared to give much time and attention to it, and this he cannot conscientiously agree to do. 1 Dec 1856
Two papers
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Henry Pelham Pelham-Clinton, fifth Duke of Newcastle
Sir John Delves Broughton, seventh Baronet
Revd Henry Hart Milman, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral
Sir Anthony Panizzi, principal librarian of the British Museum
Marchese Giampietro Campana di Cavelli, Italian art collector
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