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and bequeath to the Trustees for the time being of the British Jluseum at Montagu House, in London, to be there deposited . . . for the use of the said Museum, in conformity with the rules, orders, and regulations of the said establishment, absolutely and for ever, all and every my Collection of Manuscripts as hereinafter particularly described. That is to say, the several volumes of Manuscripts, and all papers, parchments (written or printed), and all letters, despatches, registers, rolls, documents, evidences, authorities and signatures, and all impressions of seals and marks, 'of every description and sort, and of what nature or kind, severally and generally belonging to my Collection of Manuscripts, or in my possession, stamped with my arms or otherwise (except such letters, notes, papers, &c., as are hereinafter directed to be burned and destroyed [‘ two words cancelled, Barnenws'rna’], in the discretion of my Trustees and Executors hereinafter appointed; and also save and except all such letters, papers, and writings as are attached to and accompanying the printed books specifically bequeathed by me to the Library at Aslrrirlye, and which said lastanentioned letters, papers, and writings are also, if I mistake not, stamped with my arms. And I also will and require that all and every the aforesaid manuscripts, papers, parchments (written or printed), letters, despatches, registers, rolls, documents, evidences, authorities, signatures, impressions of seals and marks of every description and sort, and every other Manuscript or Manuscripts appertaining to my said Collection whatsoever and wheresoever, or which shall or may hereafter, during my life, be added thereto (but not private letters, notes, or memorandums of any sort or kind, which I direct to be burned or destroyed), shall, within the space of two years from the day of my decease, be collected and removed to the Britt's/z .Muaeum as aforesaid,
under the particular care, superintendence, and direction of Eugene Auguste BARRIER, one of my Trustees and Executors hereinafter appointed; for which particular service I give and bequeath to him, the said Eugene Auguste BARRIER, the sum of two thousand pounds sterling. I also give, bequeath, and demise unto the said Trustees of the British Jlluseum all my estate, lands, parcels of land, ground, hereditaments and appurtenances, situate in the parish of White/1urcfi-cum-fllarbury, or in any other parish or place in the Counties of Salop or Chester, or in either or both of the said Counties, and also all the trees growing thereon, and all seats, sittings, and pews in the Parish Church of Whitchurch-cum-Marbury aforesaid, all or any of which I shall or may have bought or purchased, and which now belong to me by right of purchase, descent, or otherwise, to have and to hold the same estate, lands, parcels of land, ground, hereditaments and appurtenances, to them the said Trustees of the said British JIIMSCIUIZ for the time being for ever, upon the trusts nevertheless, and to and for the ends, intents, and purposes hereinafter particularly mentioned, expressed, and declared ; that is to say, that the trees growing on the aforesaid estate, lands, parcels of lands, ground, hereditaments, and appurtenances, shall not be cut or brought down or destroyed, but shall and may he suffered to grow during their natural life, and that the smaller trees only may be thinned here and there, with care and judgment, so as to promote the growth of the larger trees ; and that the same estate, lands, parcels of land, ground, hereditaments and appurtenances, seats, sittings or pews, or any part thereof, _shall not be susceptible of being let, underlet or rented, by or to any person or persons who shall hold, have, take, or rent any estate, farm, lands, or property of or from the family of EGER'I‘ON, or of or from any person or persons having that name, or of or from the Rector of WI:itcfiurcfi-cum-Jllarbury aforesaid for the time being; and upon further trust that they the said Trustees of the British Museum for the time being do and shall lay out and apply the rents, issues, and profits which shall from time to time arise from and out of the said estate, lands, parcels of land, ground, hereditaments and appurtenances, in the purchase of manuscripts for the continual augmentation of the aforesaid Colleetion of Manuscripts. I further will and direct that my said Trustees hereinafter appointed, within the space of eighteen calendar months after my decease, do lay out and invest in the Three per cent. Consolidated stocks or funds of England, in the names of the Trustees of the Britt's/z fill/seam for the time being, or in such llamas and for such account as the said Trustees shall direct, the sum of seven thousand pounds sterling, the interest and dividends whereof, as the same shall from time to time become due and payable, I desire and direct shall and may be paid over by the said Trustees to such person or persons as shall from time to time be charged with the care and superintendence of the said Collection of Manuscripts. I also give, grant, bequeath, and devise unto my Trustees hereinafter appointed all and singular my house, land, tenements, hereditaments, and appurtenances at or near Little Gadrleaclen, in the County of Herts, upon trust that they my said Trustees do and shall, during their joint lives and the life of the survivor of them, let and demise the same for such term or time as they shall think fit, for the best rent that can be had and gotten for the same; but the same premises, under no circumstances, to be let, underlet, or rented by or to any person or persons who shall have, hold, take, or rent any estate, farm, or property of or from the family of Eesa'ron, or any person or persons bearing that name, and do and
shall pay over the rents, issues, and profits thereof, as and when received, to the Trustees for the time being of the Brilis/z illuseum aforesaid, to be laid out and applied by such last-mentioned Trustees in the service and for the continued augmentation of the said Collection of Manuscripts ; and from and after the decease of the survivor of them my said Trustees hereinafter appointed, I give and devise the said house, land, tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances, unto and for the use of the proprietor or proprietors of the Manor and Estate of Askria'ye, his heirs and assigns for ever. And as to all the rest, residue and remainder of my real and personal estate and effects, of every nature and kind soever and wheresoever situate, not hereinbefore disposed of, or availany so, for the purposes intended, I give, devise, and bequeath the same to my said Trustees, upon trust that they my said Trustees do pay over and transfer the same to the said Trustees of the British Illuseum, and do otherwise render the same available for the service of and towards maintaining, preserving, keeping up, improving, augmenting, and extending, as opportunities may offer, my said Collection of Manuscripts so deposited in the British .Museum as aforesaid, in the most advantageous manner, according to their judgment and discretion.’ 4
The eccentricity of which I have spoken shOWed itself in the successive changes of detail and other modifications which these bequests underwent before the testator’s death. What with the Will and its many codicils, the documents, collectively, came to be of a kind which might task the acumen of a Faaaur. or a St. Laouaans. But the drift of the Will was undisturbed. The restrictions as to the underletting of the Whitchurch estate, and the like, were now limited by codicils to a prescribed term of years after the testator’s death ; power was given to the Museum Trustees to sell, also after a certain interval, the landed estate bequeathed for the purchase of manuscripts, should it be deemed conducive to the interest of the Library so to do; and an additional sum of five thousand pounds was given to the Trustees for the further increase of the Collection of Manuscripts, and for the reward of its keeper, in lieu of the residuary interest in the testator’s personal estate.
On the 10th of March, 1832, the Trustees resolved that the yearly proceeds of the last-named bequest should be paid to the Librarians in charge of the MSS., but that their ordinary salaries, on the establishment, should be diminished by a like amount.
The Manuscripts bequeathed by Lord BRIDGEWATER comprise a considerable collection of the original letters of
the Kings, Queens, Statesmen, Marshals, and Diplomatists, .
of France; another valuable series of original letters and papers of the authors and scientific men of France and of Italy; many papers of Italian Statesmen ; and a portion of the donor’s own private correspondence. The latter series of papers includes, amongst others, letters by Andres, D’Ansse de Villoisin, the Prince of Aremberg, Auger, Barbier, the Duke of Blacas, Bodoni, Boissonade, Bonpland, Canova, Cuvier, Ginguené, Humboldt, Valckenaer, and Visconti. Some of these are merely letters of compliment. Others—and, in an especial degree, those of D’Ansse de Villoisin, of Boissonade, of Ginguené, of Humboldt, and of Visconti—contain much interesting matter on questions of archaeology, art, and history.
The earliest additions to the Egerton Collection were made by the Trustees in May, 1832. In the selection of MSS. for purchase the Trustees, with great propriety, have given a preference—0n the whole; not exclusively—to that