ORAL INQUIRY, PARLIAMENTARY SESSION 1883.
Letter of the Mercers' Company respecting the Statements made during the Session of 1882 by certain
witnesses, before the Commissioners.
Sir, Mercers' Hall, 14th December 1882.
In reply to your communication of the 10th ulto.,
I am desired by the Mercers' Company to thank Her
Majesty's Commissioners for their courtesy in supplying
the Company with copies of the statements made to
The inaccuracy of many of these is no doubt mainly
attributable to an imperfect acquaintance, on the part of
their authors, with the early history of the City Guilds.
So far as regards the Mercers' Company, this defect is
remedied by the series of facts, which the Company
had the honour to lay before Her Majesty's Commissioners in the first 15 pages of Return A., Part 1, of
The facts there set forth have been collected and
arranged at the expense of a great deal of labour, in the
desire entertained by the Company to furnish all the information that can be gathered on the subject. They
extend (as the Commissioners will have remarked) over
a period of more than 700 years, and it would scarcely
be possible, the Company believes, to throw additional
light on the matter. But if the Commissioners would
have the goodness to point out any particular with
regard to which they feel a doubt, the Company will
give their best endeavours to remove any ambiguity.
In the statement prefixed to the Returns of the Company to the questions of the Commissioners, the views
entertained by the Company with regard to the tenure
on which they hold their property were distinctly
stated. Those views remain unchanged; and the Company are glad to find that they have incidentally received
an unqualified confirmation in the oral testimony of a
legal authority of the highest rank before the Commissioners.
As regards the mode in which the Company's income
is expended, the Company trust that the same sense of
the duties attaching to the possession of property, which
has hitherto guided them in the administration of their
own, will continue to do so; and they venture to think
that in this respect they have no reason to fear a comparison with the most liberal among the wealthy gentry
and nobility of the realm; but considering this point to
be one affecting themselves only, they decline to notice
either the censure or the commendation which may have
been expressed by others in reference to it.
While gratefully acknowledging therefore the courtesy
of Her Majesty's Commissioners in offering "to receive
statements, and to hear evidence on behalf of the Company," I am desired to say that any action thereupon
on the part of the Company appears to them superfluous,
and that they are unwilling to encroach further on the
time of the Commissioners.
H. D. Warr, Esq.,
2, Victoria Street,
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,