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“ 8. That so soon as One Hundred persons shall have declared their intention to become Proprietors, a General Meeting of all such persons shall be convened, who shall proceed, as they see occasion, to carry the plan into effect; to appoint a Committee to draw up Regulations for the Institution ; and to submit the same to the approval of a General Meeting of the Proprietors.
« 9. That this Institution be denominated THE LONDON INSTITUTION, FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LITERATURE AND THE DIFFUSION OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE.
“ 10. That the following Persons be appointed a Committee, to receive the names of such Gentlemen as may desire to become Proprietors or LifeSubscribers; and to conduct the progress of the proposed Establishment until a General Meeting of the Proprietors can be held. SIR Francis BARING, Bart. M.P. John Smith, Esq. M.P. John Julius ANGERSTEIN, Esq. Robert WIGRAM, Jun. Esq, RICHARD SHARP, Esq.
Samuel Woods, Esq. George HIBBERT, Esq. Alderman of the Ward of Bridge-Within.
“11. That one-third of the sums subscribed be paid on or before the 10th of June ; one-third on or before the 1st of October, next; and the remaining one-third on or before the 1st of January next.
Resolved Unanimously: That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to those Gentlemen with whom this design originated.
That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to George Hibbert, Esq. and to Richard Sharp, Esq. for moving and seconding the foregoing Resolutions.
FRANCIS BARING, Chairman.
The Chairman having left the Chair,
Resolved Unanimously : That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to Sir Francis Baring, Bart. for taking the Chair, and for the ability and impartiality with which he has conducted the business of this day.”
The close of this Meeting evinced the very great interest and avidity with which the proposal was received, of establishing a Literary Institution for the City; since the preceding Resolutions were not only most cordially adopted, but, the subscription being immediately opened, it was with the greatest difficulty that many of those who were present could approach the table to enter their names. Another paragraph was therefore added to the above official advertisement, stating that “ the Subscriptions having proceeded with unexampled rapidity, a General Meeting of the Proprietors would be held on Tuesday next (May 28th), at the London Tavern, when the Chair would be taken at one o'clock precisely.” In the very short previous in
terval, the subscriptions increased to nearly £50,000; and the Report read to the meeting by Mr. Hibbert stated, that upwards of 650 persons had already set down their names at 75 guineas each, in addition to the Life-subscribers. A proposal was then made to close the subscription, but it was at length agreed to keep the list open during the meeting ; before the termination of which the amount of the subscribed sums was understood to be £60,000. At the same time a resolution was unanimously passed, that a petition should be presented to the King for a Charter of Incorporation; and a Committee of Twenty-one Managers was appointed for the preparation of the outline of a Plan for the Establishment, to be approved by the Proprietors. A General Meeting for taking into consideration the Laws and Regulations proper to be adopted for the Institution, was held at the London Tavern, on Thursday, October 17th, 1805.
The first printed Report of the Temporary Committee of Management, addressed to the First Anniversary Meeting of the Proprietors, is dated April 24th, 1806; and it states that two active Sub-Committees had been elected for executing the arrangements decided upon : one of which had been engaged in procuring temporary accommodations, and in conducting the general affairs of the Institution; and the other in the formation of a Library. At this time the number of Proprietors amounted to 950, and the sums subscribed to £76,710 3s. 10d. with about £2000 more then due for interest; of which £6,727 8s. 6d. had been expended for books and maps, and nearly 8000 volumes were then in the Library. From even the original establishment of the London Institution, the Managers contemplated the erection of an edifice especially adapted to its magnitude and peculiar intentions; with which view, it is observed in the Report, they have addressed themselves to the liberality of the Corporation of the City of London, for a grant of the whole, or of some considerable part, of the site of Blackwell Hall, in King street, Cheapside. The premises which they first engaged were, therefore, to be considered as entirely temporary; and designed to be occupied only until a more convenient and permanent situation could be provided. They consisted of that spacious and stately mansion on the eastern side of the Old Jewry in Cheapside, nearly opposite to Frederick's Place,-erected by Sir Robert Clayton for keeping his Shrievalty in 1671. a The rent of this building was £380 per annum; and the whole expense of repairs, furniture, and other accommodations, for it, was about £3,800. The first Opening of the Establishment in this place, was thus officially announced.
“ The TEMPORARY House of the LONDON INSTITUTION, so far as respects the Library and Reading-Rooms, is Opened This Day, for the use of the Proprietors and Subscribers, at No. 8, in the Old Jewry: where Tickets of Admission may be obtained upon application at the Clerk's Office.-By Order of the Committee and Managers. Samuel Woods, Secretary. Saturday, January 18th, 1806,"
In these premises the Library, then consisting of about 10,000 volumes, was arranged in five spacious apartments on the principal story; and behind the hall on the ground floor, was a large reading-room hung round with maps, for the daily newspapers, having a smaller room at each end of it for English and Foreign periodical publications. With regard to the intended Scientific Lectures, the Report observes that so much previous preparation would be required to render them at once respectable and useful, that the Committee recommended that they should not
* As this Mansion stands at some distance backward from the street, and is concealed from observation by the houses in front,—the existence of so fine a building is probably often altogether unknown. It is entered from the Old Jewry by a plain lofty gateway, now covered with a warehouse abore ; and the edifice stands at the eastern side of a court-yard upon a handsome stone terrace, with broad steps and ballustrades. The house itself is of ornamental brickwork, of two stories in height, and containing seven large windows in width. The grand entrance is in the centre, but two others, also in the front, are formed beneath a covered colonnade leading from the terrace on each side, to the back-stairs. The hall and staircase were remarkably fine and spacious; and the latter was painted with the story of Hercules and Omphale, by Sir James Thornhill, in chiaro oscuro, including alsó a copy of the Rape of Dëianira, after Guido. In the Diary of John Evelyn, Sept. 26th, 1672, there appears the following curious notice of this mansion, then recently erected. “ I carried with me to dinner my Lord Henry Howard (now to be made Earl of Norwich and Earl-Marshal of England), to Sir Robert Clayton's, now Sheriff of London, at his new house; where we had a great feast. It is built indeede for a greate Magistrate ; at excessive cost. The cedar diningroome is painted with the history of the Gyants War, incomparably done by Mr. Streeter; but the figures are too near the eye." Mr. Bray, the Editor of this Diary, adds, that “ these paintings have been long since removed to the seat of the Clayton family at Marden, near Godstone, in Surrey." In the London Gazette it is stated concerning this Mansion, that“ on Tuesday, the 9th of March, 1679-80, King Charles II. and the Duke of York did Sir Robert Clayton, then Lord Mayor, the honour to sup with him at his house in the Old Jewry. They arrived there between eight and nine o'clock, and the balconies of the houses in the streets through which they passed, were illuminated with numerous lights and flambeaux; and the King and the Duke had a passage made for them by the Trained-Bands upon the guard, from Cheapside to the house; where the Lord Mayor, accompanied by several of the Aldermen and the two Sheriffs, received them at the gate, amidst the shouts of the people.” After this period the building became the residence of several eminent citizens; and immediately previous to the occupation of it for the London Institution, it had been for some time the abode of the celebrated surgeon, Mr. Samuel Sharp. After the removal of the Institution, the principal part of the building was taken for the house and museum of the London Missionary Society; and at the present time it is partly divided into separate offices, and partly in the possession of Messrs. Small, Colquhoun, and Co. East-India Agents. A view of this building was published in the Supplement to the Gentleman's Magazine for 1811, vol. lxxi. part ii. page 601, and it has been also engraven separately on a quarto plate.'
be too hastily engaged in: added to which the house had not sufficient convenience for their delivery.
At the same meeting which appointed a Committee to prepare a series of regulations for the new Institution,-a draft of the proposed Charter of Incorporation was read by the late eminent Mr. Charles Butler, the first Standing-Counsel of the Establishment. It was not, however, finally settled and obtained for several months after ; though its progress and completion were most importantly facilitated by the disinterested and valuable services of Mr. Joseph Fitzwilliam Vandercom, Solicitor to the Proprietors. The Charter was dated January 21st, 1807, and corresponded with the draft approved of at the general meeting, with the exception of a few verbal alterations, and of the substitution of £2000 for £5000 per annum, as the amount of the property permitted to be held in mortmain, inserted by the Law-Officers of the Crown. As a copy of the Charter of Incorporation is always to be found prefixed to the printed ByeLaws a of the London Institution, and both are consequently in the possession of every Proprietor, any farther notice of either will not be required in this place: though it will be proper to add, that in the course of the Charter the original government was assigned to the following Committee of Managers; the First Meeting of whom, in their incorporate capacity, was held on Wednesday, February 4th, 1807.
SIR FRANCIS BARING, Baronet, PRESIDENT.
JOHN JULIUS ANGERSTEIN, Esq. Vice-PRESIDENTS.
THOMAS BODLEY, Esq. Chamberlain of the City of London.
CHARLES BOSANQUET, MATTHEW RAINE, D.D. F.R.S. F.A.S.
JOHN PETER HANKEY, Esq.
JOSEPH HUDDART, Esq. F.R.S.
JOB MATTHEW RAIKES, Esq. JEREMIAH HARMAN, Esq.
THOMAS BARING, Esq. M.P. BENJAMIN HARRISON, Esq. F.A.S.
SAMUEL BODDINGTON, Esq. WILLIAM HASLEDINE PEPYS, Esq.
NATHANIEL BOGLE FRENCH, Esq. JOHN RENNIE, Esq. F.R.S. P.A.S.
WILLIAM HENRY HOARE, Esq.
ABRAHAM WILDAY ROBARTS, Esq.
" These Bye-Laws, with a short account of the London Institution as it existed in the Old Jewry, will be found printed in the Monthly Magazine for May 1807, Vol. xxiii. pages 309-313.
Until the year
A grant of Armorial Ensigns and Supporters for the Common Seal of the Corporation, was issued by Garter, and the two Provincial Kings of Arms, dated June 11th, 1807.a
The design of erecting premises for the London Institution continued to remain unexecuted, in consequence of the difficulty experienced by the Managers in procuring a site sufficiently central and convenient. After a long and attentive consideration of their request for a part of the site of Blackwell Hall, the Committee for Letting the City's Lands made a favourable report thereon to the Court of Common Council, for deciding upon the terms on which it should be granted, but the whole negociation was at length abandoned. b 1811, therefore, the Establishment remained at the mansion in the Old Jewry, but the lease of that building having then expired, the Board of Management decided upon engaging those extensive premises forming the extreme north side and eastern end of King's Arms Yard, Coleman Street.
A Report from the Board of Management, dated April 18th, 1811, requested the sanction of the Proprietors for closing such parts of the house as might facilitate the removal of the Library; which was accordingly commenced after a Special General Meeting held on August 3rd. The books then amounted to nearly 12,000 volumes, which were all conveyed to the new premises before Christmas, in less than four days. The buildings in King's Arms Yard were divided into two separate parts, the principal of which was the house on the left-hand side of the street. In
• These Arms are represented in the Wood-Engraving inserted in the Title-page of the present volume, and consist of an escutcheon Parted per fesse, Azure and Argent; in chief, beneath the sun in splendour, a terrestrial globe between a open book on the dester, and an air-pump on the sinister, all proper: the base of the shield charged with a plain cross, having in the first quarter the Sword of St. Paul erect, Gules; being the Arms of the City of London. Supporters. On the dexter side of the shield a female figure representing the CITY OF LONDON, habited Argent, zoned Azure, having over all a mantle Gules fringed Or; on her head a mural crown proper, her right hand resting on a shield erect bearing the Arms of London. On the sinister side a female figure representing MINERVA, in a robe Argent, tunic Purpure, zone, gorget, and helmet, Or: her right hand holding a spear erect, proper, and her left resting on her Ægis, Azure, charged with Medusa's Head, Gold. Crest. On a Wreath of the colours, a Lion passant-guardant Or, the dexter paw supporting the Charter of the London Institution proper. Motto. STUDIO FALLENTE LABOREM.
b So early as 1815 an Act of Parliament was passed enabling the Corporation of London to take down Guildhall Chapel and Blackwell Hall. The latter, however, was not removed, until about December, 1819; and in May 1820 were commenced the present buildings erected on the site, consisting of the new Law and Bankruptcy Courts, with the Offices for the Irish Society, Commissioners of the Land Tax, etc. and the new street called Guildhall Buildings.