HC Deb 04 August 1848 vol 100 cc1157-8

, in moving the estimates for the British Museum, observed that he was sure he should consult the wishes of the House by refraining from any lengthened remarks at so late a period of the night. The original estimate on account of the Museum was 53,000l.; but a saving had been this year effected by the trustees to the amount of 5,000l. The reduced estimate was now 48,000l. A sum of 25,000l. had been already granted on account; and he had now to move that the balance, 28,445l., be voted. In proposing this vote he was sure the House would excuse him for a single moment, if he referred to the magnificent bequest which had been made to the country by the late Mr. Grenville, One of the finest libraries that had over been formed by the literary skill and knowledge of a collector had been presented to the Museum by that gentleman. During his lifetime, Mr. Grenville, as every one who was acquainted with literature and science knew, devoted many years in collecting books of the rarest worth, and at his death he munificently devoted them to the public use. The library consisted of not less than 20,000 volumes, and the cost to Mr. Grenville was 54,000l.; but the intrinsic value of the collection could not he estimated by any reference to its pecuniary value; for it was one of the most extraordinary collections that had ever been made. It was impossible that he (Sir R. Peel) could lot this the first opportunity which had presented itself, pass without publicly expressing the gratitude and respect and esteem which he was confident every one must entertain for the memory of an excellent man and eminent statesman, who in his lifetime rendered great and valuable service to literature and to science, and at his death bequeathed a most munificent gift to his country in furtherance of those two great objects. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving that the sum of 28,445l. be granted to Her Majesty to complete the sum necessary to defray the charges of the British Museum for the year ending the 25th of March, 1849.

Vote agreed to.

House resumed.