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Select Committee on the National Gallery



Select Committee on the National Gallery



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On 23 May and 4 July 1853 Ford gave evidence to the Select Committee on the National Gallery [see NG15/10, pp. 238-43, 558-70], chaired by Colonel William Mure, which reported in favour of a proposal to remove the Gallery from Trafalgar Square to Kensington Gore. However, when Sir George Lewis, Chancellor of the Exchequer, brought a Bill before the House of Commons for its second reading in June 1856, Lord Elcho moved an amendment that the question of the site should be considered by a Royal Commission, which carried against the Government by a majority of 153 to 145.

In December 1856 Ford was appointed to serve - with Lord Broughton (Chairman), the Dean of St. Paul's, C.R. Cockerell, Prof. Michael Faraday and George Richmond - on the Royal Commission 'to determine the site of the New National Gallery, and to report on the desirableness of combining with it the Fine Art and Archaeological Collections of the British Museum', in accordance with the recommendation of the Select Committee on the National Gallery in 1853.

When it reported in June 1857, the Commission was in favour of retaining 'the enlarged and improved National Gallery' on its present site in Trafalgar Square [see NG15/14, p. iv]. Ford, however, had been compelled to resign from the Commission shortly after his appointment on grounds of ill health.

The notes in this series refer to Ford's testimony on 4 July, although it is unclear if they were produced as an aide memoire or submitted to the Committee as supplementary evidence.

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