Reference numberDM/7
TitleDomestic Manuscripts Volume 7
DescriptionPapers and letters concerning the Acton Estate 1857-1884.

Mostly correspondence relating to the sale of land to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and to the North and South Western Junction Railway Company. A great deal is legal correspondence with Few & Co, who acted as Solicitors to the Royal Society.

"In 1728 the President, Sir Hans Sloane, proposed to the Council that Fellows who were in arrear with the payment of their subscriptions should be sued for the amount due from them to the Society, the Attorney-General having given an opinion favourable to this procedure. Defaulters were therefore notified that it was the intention of Council to enforce payment of such arrears, and, as a result, a considerable sum was received by the Society, with which the Council bought in 1732 a small estate of forty-eight acres of land at Acton in Middlesex, which at that time was wholly in the country. The sum of £1600 was paid for the property, which then brought in an annual rental of £65. Portions of the land were sold off as opportunity offered, and by 1848 thirty four and a half acres remained, which then produced £170 per annum. Some of this was sold in small plots for building, and in 1881 the remainder of the property was disposed of for about £32,000".

"While this property was being disposed of a would-be purchaser raised the question whether the Society had the power to sell the estate in Acton. This was argued in Court early in 1881 under the provisions of the Vendor and Purchasers Act before Vice-Chancellor Hall, who gave judgement that it had been proved to the satisfaction of the Court that the estate at Acton, having been acquired by the Society out of property which might be legally applied as income, did not form an endowment under the meaning of the Charitable Trusts Acts of 1853 and 1855". ('The Record of the Royal Society of London', 1940, 1992 ed, p170).

Extent117 items
FormatManuscript and printed documents
Access statusOpen
Access conditionsOPEN - but photocopying forbidden.
Related materialSee also CMB/41/1 and CMB/25/6
Other papers on the Acton Estate: MM/4/4, MM/4/15, MM/11/107, MM/12/155-171, MM/14/21-22, MM/14/68
Fellows associated with this archive
NA1072Tabor; David (1913 - 2005)1913 - 2005
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    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

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