While these sheets are being completed in the press, the announcement appears that the Charity Commissioners have decided to dismiss
the petition of the Corporation of Trinity House for the breaking up of
the Hospital, and the consequent destruction of the Almshouses. The
decision is conveyed in a letter carefully drawn up, and published in The
Times of Wednesday, May 27th, 1896, and the reasons given for not
sanctioning the proposal are stated as two
(1) That there has been no insufficiency of endowment;
(2) That there has been no failure of Trusts.
It will not unreasonably be asked, would the decision of the Commissioners have been the same had there not been so great a public
outcry against the destruction of the Hospital.
The letter contains a wise and valuable judgment; but it avoids, and
doubtless rightly from the immediate point of view of the Commissioners,
any direct reference to the greater questions of National History, public
health and beauty, and the maintenance of the original intentions of the
founders. These questions are usually dismissed as sentimental; but
may it not be pleaded from the public point of view, and without in any
way impugning the grounds on which the Commissioners have based
their judgment, that the maintenance or destruction of any national
memorial should in future be treated on the broadest public grounds?
C. R. ASHBEE.