HC Deb 02 May 1872 vol 211 cc99-100

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether Her Majesty's Government have considered the memorial recently presented by deputations from public meetings held in London, praying them to carry out the wish of the late Mr. Sheepshanks that his pictures should be exhibited on Sundays?


, in reply, said, the House was doubtless aware that the Sheepshanks' collection of pictures was at the South Kensington Museum. It was quite true that Mr. Sheepshanks, when he made that most generous gift to the nation, expressed a wish that the pictures should be shown to the public on Sunday afternoons; but this was not a condition of the gift, as Mr. Sheepshanks was aware at the time that, according to the existing regulations, the pictures could not be so shown. Deputations had waited on the Marquess of Ripon and himself (Mr. Forster) in reference to this subject, and at several meetings held in London a desire was expressed that the South Kensington Museum should be opened on Sundays. This, however, brought up a very important question, which applied not only to the South Kensington Museum, but to the British Museum also. Without expressing any personal opinion on the subject, he might state that the Marquess of Ripon brought it under the notice of the Government, who did not think they were at present warranted in taking steps for opening those Museums on Sundays.