Reference numberMM/14/13
TitleMemorandum from William Parsons, Lord Rosse
DescriptionMemorandum endorsed: "Memorandum...relative to the origin of the Government Grant".

Also endorsed: "This memorandum is not dated but must have been written before the close of the session of Parliament in 1865. Edward Sabine"

Transcript of MM/14/13

In the consultation which took place in the House of Lords on Thursday last Lord Granville is reported to have said that in 1850 the Royal Society through their President Lord Rosse applied to Government for assistance to enable them to carry out some especial and as it was understood temporary object connected with Science.
The fact is that the initiative was not taken by the Royal Society, or by their then President Lord Rosse but by the Government.
The circumstances are as follows. Lord John Russell, who was then Prime Minister at the time, wrote to Lord Rosse to enquire whether in his opinion if a grant was made to the Royal Society, they would be enabled to employ it effectively for the advancement of science, especially suggesting whether aid might not be afforded to persons of small means to enable them to meet the cost of expensive experiments. He explained at the same time that the Grant was not in any one year to exceed £1000, and that he was unable to give a pledge that his successors would continue the Grant.
Lord Rosse replied to Lord John Russell's enquiries in the affirmative, and having laid the proposition before the Council of the Royal Society, the Grant was accepted. A committee was then formed to dispose of the Grant, consisting of the Council, and an equal number of Fellows not upon the Council, and each year …… ……. in amount more applied as required, in the different departments of science. Important results have been obtained, and in all cases reports have been furnished to the Council, accompanied with a detailed account of the work done, and the expenditure incurred. These reports rich in interesting matter have been thrown into the shape of a digest for publication in the Proceedings.

[Undated Note on dorse -
'Memorandum in Lord Rosse's handwriting relative to the origin of the Government Grant. This memorandum is not dated but must have been written before the close of the Session of Parliament in 1855. E.S.
E.S. is Sir Edward Sabine PRS 1861-1871]
Extent5 sides
Access statusOpen
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8084Parsons; William (1800 - 1867); 3rd Earl of Rosse1800 - 1867
NA8279Sabine; Sir; Edward (1788 - 1883)1788 - 1883
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