[Letter attached to printed subscription request for the Great Garden of Shakespeare attached to New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon]



No.6. St. Mary's Place,
      West Brompton,
            W.. London,
            6 Nov. 1861.
      In addition to the recent purchase of New Place, Mr. Halliwell has also secured, to prevent its getting into speculative hands, the Great Garden of Shakespeare adjoining that estate.
      The purchase-money of these two estates amounts to £3400, exclusive of expenses; and the subscriptions up to this day reaching only to £2401, Mr. Halliwell at present is personally liable to incur a loss of upwards of a thousand pounds.
      It is of great importance that subscriptions should now come in liberally & rapidly, it being essential to secure the Theatre, an integral part of the Shaksperian property, with as little delay as possible, and Mr. Halliwell does not feel justified in increasing so large a pecuniary liability incurred on account of the public.




[Printed 4ff]

THE NATIONAL SHAKESPERIAN FUND.

HE recent purchase of the present estate of New Place, however deeply important as it is, does but commence the work necessary to be accomplished, if the memory of Shakespeare, in connection with his own loved native town of Stratford-on-Avon, is to be duly revered. There must be added to this purchase the original Great Garden of Shakespeare, formerly attached to New Place; and the site of the present theatre, which also belonged to it. The portion of the Birth-place Estate still in private hands must also be secured to the public. Then there is Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the purchase of which must be accompanied with an endowment for a custodian; and Getley's Copyhold Estate opposite New Place, a property that belonged to Shakespeare, and is mentioned in his will. There may be one or two minor objects of this kind, and, to complete the good work, a Library and Museum, properly endowed, should be erected somewhere at Stratford; but not on any of the hallowed Shakesperian property. There is the nucleus of a Museum forming at the Birth-place, which is a building altogether unsuited to such a purpose; and if the inestimable records of Shakespeare now scattered about the town of Stratford, with those belonging to the Corporation, are to be ever brought together as they should be, a Public Library and a Museum, constructed on a scale worthy of the name of the National Poet, are indispensable.
       The sum required to effect these objects satisfactorily may be stated in round numbers as from 50,000 to 60,000. England is not worthy of her National Poet if she will not readily pay that sum in his honour; but, indeed, it is not probably that there will be even the disgrace of hesitation. That the national pulse beats Shakesperianly well is apparent from the fact of 2,296 being subscribed in less than a fortnight.
       About 20,000 will be required for the first-mentioned objects; and from 30,000 to 40,000 to build and endow the Library and Museum. With the distributing of the money for the latter object I can have nothing to do beyond handing over what is subscribed to the Corporation of Stratford in trust for that purpose. The smaller amounts I can distribute myself.
      It is impossible for me to receive contributions of less amount than 5. By adhering to this rule, as I mean to do most strictly, I shall not only be readily able to keep the accounts without assistance, but also be enabled to make my banking-account a general balance-sheet. If I were to enter small sums, the work could not go on without the aid of some complicated machinery that would interfere with the main advantages derived from one person undertaking to act for the public as its servant and agent -- the promptitude and decision attendant on individual action.
      But although I cannot receive smaller sums, those who desire to join in the good work, and cannot give so much as 5, will yet have an opportunity of doing so through the media of Local Committees and Local Secretaries. The Mayor of Birmingham has initiated the work in that great city, and the example, it is hoped, will be extensively followed.
      I shall, of course, have no responsibility or interference with the proceedings of such Committees or Secretaries, my only duties being to receive and properly apply the nett amounts remitted. The only restriction imposed upon them will be that, out of the proceeds of the subscription, before its remission to me, they print and distribute a list of the names and addresses of every subscriber; it being an essential part of my design to record the name and address of every man, woman, and child, who subscribes to the Fund.
      By the adoption of this rule, and the establishment of a strict audit, the latter being essential for my own sake in an undertaking of such magnitude, the main weight of the responsibility will be removed, for then any one can ascertain to a shilling what has been received, and how the money has been expended. As to the rest, I am confident that so long as the public is conscientiously served, not only their support, but their sympathy and consideration, will be freely given, while I shall hope that veneration for the memory of Shakespeare, aided by that advice from competent judges, which I shall be sure to receive, will preclude the possibility of any great error being committed in the arrangements of those portions of the design which I have taken upon myself.

No. 6, St. Mary's Place, West Brompton,
      near London. Nov. 4th, 1861.



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THE LAWS OF THE NATIONAL SHAKESPERIAN FUND.

      1.  Subscriptions shall be collected from the Public for the formation of a Fund which shall be entitled "The National Shakesperian Fund."
      2.  The objects for the application of this Fund shall be —  1.  The Purchase of the Gardens of Shakespeare at New Place.    2. The purchase of the remainder of the Birth-place Estate.    3. The purchase of Anne Hathaway's Cottage, with an endowment for a custodian.     4. The purchase of Getley's Copyhold, Stratford-on-Avon.    5. The purchase of any other properties, at or near Stratford-on-Avon, that either formerly belonged to Shakespeare, or are intimately connected with the memories of his life.    6. The calendering and preservation of those records at Stratford-on-Avon which illustrate the Poet's life, or the social life and history of Stratford-on-Avon in his time. And   7. The erection and endowment of a Public Library and Museum at Stratford-on-Avon.
      3.  The distribution of the Fund, for the purpose of accomplishing the first six of these objects, shall be left to the discretion of Mr. Halliwell, provided the entire sum so expended for those objects does not exceed 20,000.
      4.  The properties alluded to in the above first-named six objects, if purchased by the monies of this Fund, shall be handed over, by Mr. Halliwell, to the Corporation of Stratford-on-Avon, for the use of the public, under such conditions as he may consider necessary.
      5.  If any one individual subscribes 10,000, or upwards, to the Fund, the first person subscribing that sum in one payment shall have the option of selecting the design for the buildings to be erected for the Library and Museum, provided that such design belongs to the architecture of the Shakesperian period, and that it can be carried out with the Funds in hand at the time it is selected.
      6.  Subject to this fifth law, the Corporation shall have the sole power of dealing with any moneys collected for the Library and Museum, provided that such moneys are used for the erection and endowment of such Library and Museum, that the endowment money shall not exceed one-third of the entire sum collected for that purpose, and that the buildings be erected in the Elizabethan style of architecture.
      7.  All moneys handed over to the Corporation of Stratford-on-Avon for endowments shall be invested by them for that purpose in freehold land, situated in Stratford or its neighbourhood.
      8.  No subscriber to the Fund shall have (except as provided in the fifth law) any control whatever over the manner in which the subscriptions or any portions of them are expended, unless any subscriptions are stated at the time by the persons subscribing to be for any specific purpose, an acknowledgement of which purpose must appear on the receipt given for the amount so subscribed, or the claim to specify its application will not be admitted.
      9.  Every person subscribing 100 or upwards to the Fund shall nominate an auditor, and Mr. Halliwell's accounts and vouchers shall be open to examination whenever, and as often as, the auditors so nominated shall appoint.
      10.  Every person subscribing 100 may, if he pleases, appoint himself as an auditor.
      11.  The Fund shall be treated as primarily liable to protect Mr. Halliwell against incurring any personal pecuniary loss in his attempts to carry out the objects for which the Fund is instituted; but, on the other hand, the auditors shall not allow Mr. Halliwell, either directly or indirectly, any remuneration for his services.
      12.  All subscriptions to the Fund shall be paid into Mr. Halliwell's account at the Western Branch of the Bank of England, Burlington Gardens; and every auditor shall be furnished with an order to inspect this banking-account whenever he pleases.
      13.  No audit of the accounts shall be published unless its accuracy is testified by the signatures of at least three-fourths of the entire number of auditors.
      14.  Mr. Halliwell shall have the power at any time to call upon the auditors to accept the accounts as closed, and to pay over any balance there may be to the Corporation of Stratford-on-Avon, in trust for such objects of the Fund as he may consider most advisable.
      15.  These fifteen laws, being those under which subscriptions from the public are solicited, shall not be altered under any circumstances whatever.



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THE ESTATE OF NEW PLACE.

      The purchase of this estate, made on Oct 22nd, 1861, includes the site of Shakespeare's House at New place, and the portion of the Poet's Gardens opposite the Guild Chapel, being all that space marked A in the annexed Plan. The

Plan of Poet's Gardens and environs

public are indebted to the following honoured names for this important and interesting acquisition, which has been made over in trust to the Corporation of Stratford-on-Avon, on the conditions that the Gardens of the great National Poet shall never be built upon, and that the public shall for ever have free access:—

1.  

Henry Huth, Esq., Sussex Place. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

2.  

G. L. Prendergast, Esq., Lowndes Street. . . . . . . . . . . .

100

3.  

H. B. Sheridan, Esq., M.P. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

4.  

William Tite, Esq., M.P. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

5.  

James Parker, Esq., Chelmsford . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .

100

6.  

Benjamin Webster, Esq., . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

7.  

F. W. Cosens, Esq., Water Lane . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .

100

8.  

A Lady, anonymously . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

9.  

Miss Burdett Coutts . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

10.  

James Dugdale, Esq., Wroxhall Abbey . . . . . . . .. . . . .

100

11.  

Henry Johnson, Esq., . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

12.  

Lord Overstone . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ....... .

100

13.  

The Misses Moore . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

14.  

C. H. Bracebridge, Esq., . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

15.  

Charles Rawlings, Esq., . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

   
      It is worthy of note that upwards of 1200, including the last six names of the above list, were promised in four days only, viz., between Oct. 31st, and Nov. 3rd.





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THE GREAT GARDEN OF NEW PLACE.

      1.  THE house and grounds of New Place included, in Shakespeare's time, not merely the plot marked A, but those of B, C, and D, the last including E, the site of the Poet's mulberry-tree, upon which a fine tree, grown from a scion of the original, now grows. All this portion of the grounds, as appears from the old title-deeds, was called, in Shakespeare's time, the "Great Garden." The plot marked C, upon which stands the present theatre, was also a portion of the Shakesperian property; and, to complete the task, this theatre must be purchased and removed, so that no buildings may desecrate the hallowed ground. The Gardens of Shakespeare will then be preserved for ever in their integrity to England and the world.
      It has been often stated that no vestige of the original building of New Place remains. This, however, is not the case. A portion of one of its walls is built into the modern house, and it has been ascertained that the basement foundations are still in being, though now concealed underground. An idea occurs whether these remains should not be exposed to view, the interesting though melancholy relics of what there was once on the spot. The opinion of the subscribers and the public will be earnestly solicited on this and similar questions.
      This estate, exclusive of the theatre, has been already purchased by Mr. Halliwell for the sum of 2000, to prevent any chance of its getting into speculative hands; and it shall be handed over to the Corporation as soon as the public have contributed that further sum.

SUBSCRIPTIONS ALREADY PROMISED
Subscriptions for the purchase of the Estate of New Place, being contri-
      buted by Fifteen Subscribers of 100 each, as per list on the pre-
      vious page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . .. . . . . 1500  0

Miss Burdett Coutts .. . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .

500  0

B. Bond Cabbell, Esq., M.P. . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . .

100  0

Sir William Fitz-Herbert, Bart., Tissington Hall . . .... . . . . . . . . .........

100  0

Thomas Erskine, Esq., of Linlothen . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . .

50  0

James Mackenzie, Esq., W.S., Edinburgh . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . .

50 0

Letter Z . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

50  0

A. Smollett, Esq., M.P. . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21  0

Miss How, Chelsea . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10  0

Lord Monson . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5  0

Thomas Tassell, Esq., Maidstone . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... .. . . . . . . . . . . . .

5  0

Stephen Cave, Esq., M.P. . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5  0

Letters V.L. . . .... . . . . . . . . ......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5  5

_______
2401  5
_______

      All communications to be addressed to J.O. Halliwell, Esq., No. 6, St. Mary's-place, West Brompton, near London. As to Local Committees in corporate towns, preference will be given to those sanctioned by the Mayors of those towns. Any ladies or gentlemen willing to act as Local Secretaries will be furnished with directions for that purpose.