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DISTRIBUTION OF THE PRIZE FUND
SOCIETY OF ARTS,
EXAMINATIONS HELD IN JUNE, 1857.
BURY ST. EDMUND'S :
As the following statement, which is copied verbatim from the Society's
Programme, issued Nov. 10, 1856, is referred to several times in the course of the Correspondence, it is placed here for easy reference.
PRIZE FUND FOR 1857.
The following donations have been received towards a fund to be distributed in Prizes to Successful Candidates at the ensuing Examinations of the Society of Arts, to be held in London and at Huddersfield, in June, 1857.
£. The Society of Arts
10 0 Francis Bennoch, Esq.
10 10 Rev. Dr. Booth, F.R.S.
10 10 William Brown, Esq., M.P.
10 0 Thomas De la Rue, Esq.
10 10 Warren De la Rue, Esq., F.R.S.
10 10 C. Wentworth Dilke, Esq.
10 10 Peter Graham, Esq.
10 10 The Dean of Hereford
10 10 Henry Johnson, Esq.
90 0 J. Bennet Lawes, Esq., F.R.S.
10 10 The Master of the Mint
10 10 J. J. Mechi, Esq., Sheriff of London
10 10 Samuel Morley, Esq.
10 10 R. Stephenson, Esq., M.P., F.R.S.
10 10 Col. W. H. Sykes, F.R.S., Chairman of the Council 10 10 G. Fergusson Wilson, Esq., F.R.S.
The following additional Subscriptions were received after the publication of the above statement :
Alderman Challis, M.P. -
5 0 10 10
5 0 105 0 10 10 10 10
5 0 10 10 10 0
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS.
My LORDS AND GENTLEMEN,
I am desirous that you should be made acquainted with the correspondence that has taken place between myself and the Council, and also with Sir J. Pakington's observations thereupon, in reference to the distribution of the Prize Fund at the Examinations of the Society in 1857.
A Memorial to the Prince Consort has also been presented on the same subject by some of the best Candidates. This I also insert, together with the explanation of the Council, and some remarks of my own thereon.
The question between the Candidates and the Council is simply this :Were not the Council bound by the terms of the notice in the preceding page to distribute the whole of the Fund, if the Candidates presented themselves, in sufficient numbers and their merits should be such as to entitle them to reward? In both respects the results were in favour of the claims of the Candidates. The number of the competitors was between 200 and 300— nearly five times greater than in the previous year, and it is distinctly stated in the Report of the Examiners that their merits were of a high character.
I submit that under these circumstances the Council were bound in good faith to have distributed the whole of the Fund, and I earnestly ask your consideration of the accompanying correspondence, confident that the treatment these young men have received from the Council will never be approved by the whole body of the Members.
I have the honour to be,
Bury St. Edmund's.
May 27, 1858.
TO THE COUNCIL OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS,
Bury St. Edmund's,
26th November, 1857. As the Master of the Commercial School, Bury St. Edmund's, I last year became a Member of the Society of Arts for the express purpose of enabling my Pupils to compete at the Examinations in 1857.
Living at a distance of nearly 100 miles from the metropolis, I should never have thought of entering into a competition which necessarily involved considerable expenditure, unless a prospect had been held out that success on the part of the Candidates would bring a return of their outlay in the shape of Prize-money. That this prospect was held out will be seen by the statement below, taken from the Programme issued by the Society, inviting Candidates to the Examinations in 1857.
"PRIZE FUND FOR 1857.
“ Huddersfield, in June, 1857.”.
I beg respectfully to submit to the Council that, in conformity with the above promise, the whole of the Prize Fund, amounting to upwards of £600,* should be distributed among the successful Candidates. It is true that Prizes of Books, each £4 in value, have been awarded to some of the Candidates, and special grants of £5 each '† to others, but the sum thus absorbed does not amount to one-third of the amount subscribed for distribution, as appears from the statements made, from time to time, in the Society's Journal.
May I therefore beg of you to take the matter into your consideration, and if, as I hope and believe, you determine at once to distribute the remainder of the Fund, I would further suggest that the Prizes should be in money, not in books, in order that the young men may be enabled in some measure to defray the heavy expenses caused by attending the Examinations so far from home.
I have the honour to be,
Society of Arts, Adelphi,
14th December, 1857. Your letter of the 26th ult., with its enclosure, has been laid before the Council, and I am directed to state in reply that the Council, on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners, awarded such Prizes as the circumstances of the case required.
It would be contrary to all rule, and would (tend] to bring discredit on the Prizes, if, whether the circumstances justified it or not, more Prizes and larger ones were given than there were, in the opinions of the Examiners, Candidates duly qualified to receive them.
I am, dear Sir,
P. LE NEVE FOSTER,
* Since ascertained to be £534.
+ These money grants were made to some of the Prizemen examined at Huddersfield, but none to those examined in London, although several of the London Candidates obtained Certificates of a higher grade. I may also mention, as an additional grievance, that several of the Huddersfield Candidates who received Prizes obtained but one Certificate, whilst others, examined in ndon, who gained seven Certificates, obtained no Prize at all. And yet Dr. Booth stated, at the time of their distribution, that the Prizes were “ the only competitive feature” in the Examination.--Journal of the Society, p. 450. -R. C.