38. Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act 1880-81
App. 29 July 1880. Rep. 4 Jan 1881, C.2779, xviii. Cost £4,289.
Earl of Bessborough; R. Dowse; C.O. 0'Conor; A.M. Kavanagh; W. Shaw.
Secretary: Sir G. Young. (Named in Warr.)
To inquire into and report on the working of the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland)
Act 1870, and Acts amending the same.
O'Conor and Shaw signed subject to supplementary reports. Kavanagh did not
sign and wrote a separate report.
39. City of London Livery Companies 1880-84
App. 29 July 1880. Rep. 28 May 1884, C.4073-i-iv, xxxix, Pts. I-V. Cost £2,775.
Earl of Derby; Duke of Bedford; Viscount Sherbrooke; Lord Coleridge; Sir R.A.
Cross; Sir N.M. de Rothschild; Sir S.H. Waterlow; W.J.R. Cotton; A. Pell; W.H.
James; J.F.B. Firth; T. Burt.
Secretary: H.D. Warr. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
To inquire into the circumstances and administration, and to report on desirable
changes in the constitution and administration, of all companies named in the
Second Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into Municipal
Corporations in England and Wales.
Firth and Burt signed subject to separate memoranda and observations. A
dissenting report was signed by Cross, Rothschild and Cotton, with a further
Protest by Cotton both against the Majority Report generally and against specific
points of the Dissenting Report.
40. Measurement of Tonnage 1880-81
App. 11 Oct 1880. Rep. 25 Aug 1881, C.3074-i, xlix. Other papers: 1882,
C.3380, xxi, 645. Cost £1,921.
C.M. Norwood; Sir J. Stokes; Sir E.J. Reed; H.C. Rothery; T. Gray; J.P. Corry;
R. Capper; J. Glover; T.D. Hornby; W. Pearce; T.B. Royden; B. Waymouth.
Secretary: J.E. Wilkins.
To inquire into and report on the present law for the measurement of tonnage;
and whether any changes were necessary having regard to just principles of
taxation; the furtherance of trade; international arrangements; and, above all,
Stokes signed but attached a note to the report pointing out what he believed to
be certain misapprehensions on the part of Rothery and Glover. The latter, and
Waymouth, did not sign, appending their reasons.
41. Inland Navigation (Ireland) 1880-82
App. 18 Oct 1880. Rep. 8 Feb 1882, C.3173-i, xxi, 101. Cost £1,254.
Viscount Monck; Lord Monteagle of Brandon; C.H. Dickens; J.P. Nolan; A.L.
Tottenham; T.A. Dickson; J.B. Greene; J. Mulholland.
Secretary: D. Godley. (Named in Warr.)
To inquire respecting the system of Navigation which connected Coleraine,
Belfast and Limerick and to report on its continued viability as a joint navigation
and drainage system.
Dickens signed the report but attached a dissent.
42. Transvaal 1881-82
App. 5 Apr 1881. Rep. pres. 7 Feb 1882, C.3114, C.3219, xxviii, 493. Cost
Sir H.G.R. Robinson; Sir H.E. Wood; Sir J.H. De Villiers.
Secretary: St. L.A. Herbert.
W.B. Gurdon was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Finance.
To inquire into, and report on all matters relating to the future settlement of the
Transvaal Territory, and to execute documents, and perform acts in connection
The Commission included detailed instructions from the Earl of Kimberley
(Secretary of State for the Colonies). The Commissioners had wide powers and
on 3 Aug 1881 executed a convention with the representatives of the Transvaal
burghers (S.J.P. Kruger, M.W. Pretorius and P.J. Joubert), granting selfgovernment to the inhabitants of the Transvaal in accordance with the principles
and conditions expressed in the Commission's report.
Sir E. Wood signed a dissent to the report, but concurred generally with his
43. Medical Degrees 1881-82
App. 30 Apr 1881. Rep. pres. 22 June 1882, C.3259-i, xxix, 489. Cost £1,948.
Earl of Camperdown; Bishop of Peterborough; W.H.F. Cogan; Sir G. Jessel; G.
Sclater-Booth; Sir W. Jenner; J. Simon; T.H. Huxley; R. McDonnell; W. Turner;
Secretary: J. White. (Barrister, named in Warr.)
To inquire into the grant of medical degrees and other diplomas; and the courses
of education necessary to acquire the skill and knowledge to attain them; and also
to inquire into conditions for registration as medical practitioners; and into the
result of the Medical Act of 1858 and its amendments.
The Bishop of Peterborough, Sclater-Booth, Simon, Huxley, Turner and Bryce
dissented to parts of the report, and gave their opinions in a series of attached
44. Ecclesiastical Courts 1881-83
App. 16 May 1881. Rep. pres. 14 Aug 1883, C.3760-i, xxiv. Cost £2,692.
Archbishop of Canterbury (A.C. Tait: d. 1 Dec 1882); Archbishop of York (fn. 1) ;
Marquess of Bath; Earl of Devon (fn. 1) ; Earl of Chichester (fn. 1) ; Bishop of Winchester (fn. 1) ;
Bishop of Oxford (fn. 1) ; Bishop of Truro (subsq. Archbishop of Canterbury); Lord
Penzance; Lord Blachford; Lord Coleridge (fn. 1) ; Sir R.J. Phillimore (fn. 1) ; Sir R.A. Cross;
Sir W.C. James (fn. 1) ; W.C. Lake (fn. 1) ; J.J.S. Perowne (fn. 1) ; B.F. Westcott; W. Stubbs; J.P.
Deane (fn. 1) ; E.A. Freeman (fn. 1) ; T.E. Espin (fn. 1) ; A.C. Ainslie; A. Charles; F.H. Jeune (fn. 1) ; S.
Secretary: A.B. Kempe. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
To inquire into the constitution and working of the Ecclesiastical Courts, as
created or modified under the Reformation Statutes of the 24th and 25th years
of Henry VIII and any subsequent acts. (In full.)
45. Technical Instruction Abroad 1881-84
App. 25 Aug 1881. Rep. (1) 17 Feb 1882, C.3171, xxvii, 653; (2) 4 Apr 1884,
C.3981-i-iii, xxix-xxxi(1). Cost £2,605.
B. Samuelson; H.E. Roscoe; P. Magnus; J. Slagg; S. Smith; W. Woodall.
Secretary: G. Redgrave. (Named in Warr.)
To inquire into the instruction of the industrial classes of certain foreign
countries in technical and other subjects, to compare them with corresponding
classes in this country; and into the influence of such instruction on
manufacturing and other industries at home and abroad.
The second report records the appointment of H.M. Jenkins as sub-commissioner.
The Commission's foreign visits gave rise to Treasury suspicions: an entry in the
T.108 index for 1882 notes 'Comm. wants sharply looking after. Members have
been taking a holiday at public expense'. (Entry no. 15762 - the file itself has
PRO.H0.45/9612/A8064 has correspondence regarding the appointment of the
46. Smallpox Hospitals 1881-82
App. 16 Nov 1881. Rep. 21 July 1882, C.3314, xxix. Cost £871.
Lord Blachford; Sir J. Paget; Sir R. Alcock; A.W. Peel; E.L. Pemberton; J.B.
Sanderson; A. Carpenter; W.H. Broadbent; J. Hutchinson.
Secretary: N. Baker. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
To inquire into the provision of hospital accommodation for smallpox and fever
patients in the Metropolis, and to make any necessary suggestions for its
47. Reformatories & Industrial Schools 1882-84
App. 1 March 1882. Rep. pres. 5 Feb 1884, C.3876-i, xlv. Cost £2,234.
Lord Aberdare; Earl of Dalhousie; Lord Norton; Hon. E. Stanhope; Sir M.E.
Hicks-Beach; C.O. O'Conor; Sir U.J. Kay-Shuttleworth; D.La T. Colthurst; G.
Woodyatt-Hastings; F.H.N. Glossop; C. Dalrymple; H. Broadhurst; W. Ewart;
W.E. Hubbard, Jnr.
Secretary: A.G.C. Liddell. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
To inquire into and report upon the operation, management, control, inspection,
financial arrangements and condition generally of Certified Reformatories,
Certified Industrial Schools and Certified Day Industrial Schools in the United
Kingdom; and to suggest any amendments to increase their efficiency.
Dalhousie, Norton, Broadhurst and Glossop signed the report, but attached
memoranda expressing reservations.
Liddell resigned 28 July 1883 as he had taken up the post of Revising Barrister
for the West Riding of York and could no longer hold an office of profit under
the Crown. However he informed the Home Office that he wished to continue
as unpaid Secretary to the Commission until its report was completed. In
addition to this work he prepared a detailed memorandum setting out the
Commission's recommendations and suggesting means by which they could be
incorporated in legislation. There is no record of Treasury sanction for the outof-pocket expenses he had also requested, but a file note of 7 Dec 1883 records
that he was to be sent a 'very civil letter of thanks'. (PRO.HO.45/9617/A.13312)
48. Metropolitan Sewage 1882-84
App. 22 June 1882. Rep. (1) 31 Jan 1884, C.3842-i, xli; (2) 27 Nov 1884:
1884-5, C.4253-i, xxxi, 341. Cost £2,735.
Lord Bramwell; Sir J. Coode; A.W. Williamson; F.S.B.F. de Chaumont; T.
Stevenson; J. Abernethy.
Secretary: W. Pole. (Named in Warr.)
A supplementary Commission was issued on 1 Nov 1882 appointing Sir P.B.
Maxwell and C.B. Ewart.
To inquire and report upon the system under which sewage is discharged into
the Thames by the Metropolitan Board of Works, whether any evil effects result
therefrom, and in that case what measures can be applied for remedying or
preventing the same. (In full.)
Benson Maxwell attached a letter to the first report stating his agreement with it.
He was unable sign it due to his absence from England on public duty in Egypt.
Coode was out of the country when the final report was signed but authorised the
Secretary to sign for him.
49. Educational Endowments (Scotland) Act 1882-89
App. 26 Aug 1882. Rep. 31 Dec annually 1883-89 (1) 1884, C.3995, xxvii; (2)
1884-5, C.4329, xxvii; (3) 1886, C.4664, xxviii; (4) 1887, C.4981, xxxiii; (5)
1888, C.5312, xli, 841; (6) 1889, C.5641, xxxii, 569; (7) 1890, C.5957, xxxi,
763. Cost £14,429.
Lord Balfour of Burleigh; Earl of Elgin; Sir T.J. Boyd; Lord Shand; J.A.
Campbell; J. Ramsay; J. Ure.
Secretary: A. Gibson (d. 1887). (Named in Warr.)
Like the Moncreiff Commission (no. 39) this was a semi-permanent Commission
set up under the provisions of the Educational Endowments (Scotland) Act.
50. West Indian Finance 1882-83
App. 9 Dec 1882. Rep. pres. in 2 parts: 5 Feb and 4 Apr 1884, C.3840-i-iii, xlvi.
Costs met by colonial funds. (RSM&S)
W. Crossman and G.S. Baden-Powell.
Secretary: C.A. Harris. (Named in Warr.)
To inquire into the public revenues, expenditure, debts and liabilities of the
islands of Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent, Tobago and St. Lucia, and the Leeward
51. Irish Prisons 1882-83
App. 29 Dec 1882. Rep. (1) 3 Feb 1883, C.3496, xxxii, 803; (2) 1 Aug 1884:
1884-5, C.4233-i, xxxviii. The second report was also published separately as
1884, C.4145, xlii, 671. Cost £2,360.
Sir R.A. Cross; Hon. W. St. J.F. Brodrick; E.R. Wodehouse; R. McDonnell; G.
Sigerson; N.D. Murphy; T.A. Dickson.
Secretary: A.B. McHardy. (Major in Royal Engineer Corps; named in Warr.)
To inquire into the administration, discipline and condition of local and convict
prisons in Ireland.
52. Crofters and Cottars in Highlands and Islands of Scotland 1883-84
App. 17 March 1883, and sealed in Edinburgh 22 March 1883. Rep. pres. 4 Apr 1884,
C.3980, xxxii. Other papers: C3980-i-iv, in vols. xxxiii-vi. Cost £5,961. (LPGS)
Lord Napier; Sir K.S. Mackenzie; D. Cameron; C. Fraser-Mackintosh; A.
Nicolson; D. MacKinnon.
Secretary: Malcolm M'Neill. (Named in Warr.)
To inquire into the condition of the crofters and cottars in the Highlands and
Islands of Scotland.
Mackenzie, Cameron and Fraser-Mackintosh attached reservations to the main
53. Trawling 1883-85
App. 30 Aug 1883. Rep. pres. 9 March 1885: 1884-5, C.4328, xvi, 471. Cost
Earl of Dalhousie; Hon. E. Marjoribanks; T.H. Huxley; W.S. Caine; T.F. Brady.
Secretary: A.G.C. Liddell.
To inquire into the complaints of line and drift-net fishermen owing to the use
of the trawl-net and beam trawl in the Territorial waters of the United Kingdom,
whether such complaints were well founded and whether any, and what,
legislative remedy could be adopted without interfering with the cheap and
plentiful supply of fish.
Professor Huxley did not sign the report and had been unable to attend the later
sessions of the Commission because of illness.
54. Housing of the Working Classes 1884-85
App. 4 March 1884. Rep. (1) pres. 7 May 1885: 1884-5, C.4402-i-ii, xxx; (2)
pres. 14 May 1885, C.4409-i (Scotland), xxxi; (3) pres. 4 Aug 1885, C.4547-i-iii
(Ireland), xxxi. Cost £2,377.
Sir C.W. Dilke; Prince of Wales; Cardinal Archbishop Manning; Marquess of
Salisbury; Earl Brownlow; Lord Carrington; G.J. Goschen; Sir R.A. Cross;
Bishop Suffragan of Bedford; Hon. E.L. Stanley; W.T.M. Torrens; H. Broadhurst;
J. Collings; G. Godwin; S. Morley.
Secretary: J.E.C. Bodley. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
A supplementary Commission of 16 Aug 1884 appointed Sir G. Harrison and
To inquire into the housing of the working classes. (In full.)
The drawing up of the Warrant for this Commission raised some difficult matters
of protocol since it involved the appointment of Manning who was not only a
Roman Catholic archbishop but 'a Cardinal Prince of a State which we do not
recognise' (Harcourt [Secretary of State] to the Lord Chancellor [the Earl of
Selborne], 26 Feb 1884). According to this correspondence no-one had thought
of the difficulties this would produce. There were precedents for the appointment
of Roman Catholic Archbishops in both the Royal Commission upon Charitable
Donations of 1844 and the Royal Charter of the University of Ireland, where they
took precedence over Earls but not Archbishops of the Church of England, but
no record could be found of the appointment of a Cardinal. It was resolved that
Manning should rank next after the Prince of Wales, whose agreement to this was
noted, but that there should be no 'distinctive epithets such as "Eminence" nor
any allusion to the territorial titles of his See'. It was also necessary for the
Home Office to obtain a legal opinion as to the rank and precedence of Suffragan
Bishops relative to the appointment of Bishop Walsham. The Law Officers ruled
(8 March 1884) that 'We are of opinion that Suffragan Bishops appointed under
the Act of Henry VIII are not by virtue of their offices, entitled to any
precedence outside their dioceses ...'. (PRO.H0.45/9641/A34692)
All signed the first report: Salisbury, Goschen and Cross subject to reservations.
A supplementary report was signed by Manning, Carrington, Harrison, Stanley,
Gray, Torrens, Broadhurst, Collings, Godwin and Morley. A number of
individual and joint memoranda were produced, with various combinations of
Commissioners expressing support for some or all of the views expressed in
them. Jesse Collings did not sign the second report and attached a memorandum
explaining his reasons. This was also signed by Dwyer Gray and Broadhurst,
although they had signed the main report. All Commissioners signed the third
report: Cross, Brownlow, Dwyer Gray and Collings subject to reservations.
55. Loss of Life at Sea 1884-87
App. 1 Nov 1884. Rep. (1) 31 July 1885: 1884-5, C.4577, xxxv; (2) 27 Aug
1887, C.5227-i-ii, xliii. Cost £3,538.
Earl of Aberdeen; Duke of Edinburgh; J. Chamberlain; Sir C.P. Butt; J.E. Gorst
(ktd. 1885); T.C. Baring; T. Burt; H. Green; J. Kennedy; J. McGregor; W.
Pearce; L.D. Smith; L.C. Wakefield; W. Walton.
Secretary: R. Anderson. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
A Commission of 20 Dec 1884 appointed E. Heneage, J. Aste, G.A. Laws, H.W.
Parker, T.B. Royden and J. Warrack.
The first Commission was revoked and a new one issued on 4 March 1884
naming Sir A.C. Key in addition to those members appointed under the previous
Warrants. The terms of the Warrant remained the same.
To inquire into the extent and cause of loss of ships and lives at sea since the
report of the Commission on Unseaworthy Ships; and to report on remedies
especially laws regarding insurance and liability; the functions and administration
of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade, and of Courts dealing with
Wreck Inquiries; and the condition and efficiency of Merchant Officers and
Royden, Green, Watson Parker and Warrack attached a note disagreeing with
some of the Report's conclusions, which was followed by a shorter note by
Wakefield and Smith with some additional reservations. Laws did not sign and
produced a separate report. PRO.H0.45/9648/A37324 contains correspondence
regarding the duties of the Secretary.
56. Blind, Deaf and Dumb 1885-89
App. 28 July 1885. Rep. pres. 18 July 1889, C.5781-i, xix; C.5781-ii-iii, xx. Cost
Duke of Westminster; Bishop of London; A.J. Mundella; F.J. Campbell; T.R.
Armitage; W.T. Robertson.
Secretary: Charles Edward Drummond Black. (Named in Warr.)
Further Commissions of 13 Aug 1885 appointed Sir E.S. Sotheby and E.C.
Johnson, and of 30 Oct 1885 W.A. Arrol and R. McDonnell.
To investigate and report on the condition of the blind in the United Kingdom
and the various systems of education and employment available to them.
This was revoked by a Warrant of 20 Jan 1886 and a new Commission was
appointed: Lord Egerton; Bishop of London; Sir L. Playfair; Mundella; Sir H.J.
Selwin-Ibbetson; Sotheby; B. St. J. Ackers; Armitage; Arrol; Campbell; Johnson;
McDonnell and Robertson. Black remained Secretary. The scope of the
Commission was enlarged to include the Deaf and Dumb and others in need of
exceptional methods of education.
A number of further Warrants were issued: 4 March 1886 appointing C. Few and
W. Woodall; 27 Apr 1886, W.B. Sleight; 28 June 1886, C.M. Owen; 11 June
1887 L. Van Oven in place of Few who died 4 Apr 1887. McDonnell died 6
May 1889 and was not replaced.
All signed the final report with reservations by Ackers, Armitage, Campbell,
Johnson, Sleight, Owen and Van Oven.
57. Depression of Trade and Industry 1885-86
App. 29 Aug 1885. Rep. (1) 7 Nov 1885: 1886, C.4621; (2) 31 March 1886,
C.4715-i, xxi-ii; (3) 18 June 1886, C.4797; (4) 21 Dec 1886, C.4893, xxiii. Cost
Earl of Iddesleigh; Earl of Dunraven & Mount-Earl; G. Sclater-Booth; Sir J.J.
Allport; J. Aird; T. Birtwistle; L.L. Cohen; J.P. Corry; D. Dale; C.J. Drummond;
W.F. Ecroyd; H.H. Gibbs; W.H. Houldsworth; W.L. Jackson; G.A. Jamieson; N.
Lubbock; P.A. Muntz; A. O'Connor; R.H.I. Palgrave; C.M. Palmer; W. Pearce;
B. Price; S. Storey.
Secretary: G.H. Murray. (Treasury; named in Warr.) Asst. Sec: T.H. Elliott.
To inquire and report upon the extent, nature, and probable causes of the
depression now or recently prevailing in various branches of trade and industry,
and whether it can be alleviated by legislative or other measures. (In full.)
It was originally proposed that the terms of reference be drawn up so as to enable
the Commissioners to travel abroad thus avoiding the necessity of obtaining a
separate sanction from the Treasury, but this course was resisted by both the
Treasury and the Foreign Office and the Warrant did not contain the empowering
The Chairman circulated a memorandum for the Commission (P.P., 1885, (348),
lxxi, 139) dated 12 Aug 1885 discussing the terms of reference, which are quoted
in full above, and cautioning the Commission against too wide an inquiry. The
proposed parameters for the inquiry are set out in two accompanying papers.
The first report consisted of the results of oral and written inquiries with no
conclusions or recommendations. The third report was not signed by O'Connor,
who added a dissent. The final report was signed with reservations by
Sclater-Booth, Birtwistle, Cohen, Corry, Gibbs, Houldsworth, Jamieson, Palgrave,
Palmer, Price and Storey. A minority report was signed by Ecroyd, Muntz,
Lubbock and Dunraven, the latter subject to a reservation. Gibbs and
Sclater-Booth also attached a note agreeing with some portions of this Report.
O'Connor issued a separate minority report.
58. Elementary Education Acts 1886-88
App. 15 Jan 1886. Rep. (1) pres. 19 Aug 1886, C.4863, xxv; (2) 6 Apr 1887,
C.5056, xxix; (3) 26 July 1887, C.5158, xxx; (4) 27 June (Majority) and 12 July
(Dissenting), 1888, C.5485-i, xxxv; C.5485ii-iv, xxxvi; C.5329-i, xxxvii. Cost
Sir R.A. Cross; Cardinal Archbishop Manning; Earl of Harrowby; Earl
Beauchamp; Bishop of London; Lord Norton; A.J. Mundella; Sir F.R. Sandford;
Sir J. Lubbock; Sir B. Samuelson; J.H. Rigg; R.W. Dale; R. Gregory; B.F. Smith;
T.D.C. Morse; C.H. Alderson; J.G. Talbot; S.C. Buxton; T.E. Heller; B.C.
Molloy; S. Rathbone; H. Richard; G. Shipton.
Secretary: H. Cowie, QC; d. c.1886, succ. by F.C. Bentinck. Asst. Sec: E.H.
The first Warrant was revoked and reissued on 10 March 1886, replacing
Mundella with the Hon. E.L. Stanley. A third Commission was issued on 15
June 1887 appointing the Duke of Norfolk in place of Molloy who had resigned.
To enquire into the working of the Elementary Education Acts, England and
Wales. (In full.)
The final majority report included reservations by Manning, Norton, Sandford,
Smith and Alderson. Stanley, Lubbock, Samuelson, Dale, Buxton, Heller,
Richard and Shipton issued a dissenting report, with a reservation by Buxton.
This was followed by a further report discussing the evidence taken by the
Commission and the general state of elementary education which was signed by
Stanley, Dale, Heller (with a reservation), Richard and Shipton.
59. Civil Establishments 1886-87
App. 20 Sept 1886. Rep. (1) 6 Sept 1887, C.5226, xix; (2) 10 Sept 1888,
C.5545, xxvii; (3) 5 June 1889 C.5748-i, xxi; (4) 30 July 1890, C.6172-i, xxvii.
Sir M.W. Ridley; Earl Brownlow; Lord Rothschild; Lord Lingen; G.
Sclater-Booth (cr. Baron Basing, 1887); H.H. Fowler; Sir E.C. Guinness; A.B.
Freeman-Mitford; J. Cleghorn; A.S. Harvey; C.E. Lewis; A. O'Connor; P.
Rylands (d. 8 Feb 1887).
Secretary: H.G. Walpole. (Under Sec. of State to Principal Sec. of State for India;
named in Warr.)
A further Commission of 30 Nov 1887 appointed R.W. Hanbury, H.L.W. Lawson
and J.W. Maclure to replace Rylands; O'Connor, who according to the first report
'decline[d] his further co-operation ... for reasons entirely unconnected with the
Commission'; and Guinness who resigned.
This Commission was initiated by the Treasury and PRO.T.1/8248C gives details
of its appointment which was formalised by Memorandum, C.4883, and presented
to the House in Sept 1886. PRO.HO.45/9760/B661 is one of the most complete
of all the surviving Home Office files on Royal Commissions, with only one
piece missing (B.661.38). In addition to details about the submission of the
various reports it also contains documentation regarding the Commission's
inquiries into the Home Office itself, registering the reluctance of Home Office
staff to appear before the Commission, or even to make written submissions.
To inquire into the establishments of the different Offices of State at Home and
Lingen did not sign the first report and noted that although he agreed
substantially with its conclusions he felt that it should not have been presented
without further discussion. The second report was signed by all members, but
with dissenting notes from Rothschild, Lewis and Freeman Mitford. The third
report was signed with a note of disagreement by Lewis. Lawson did not sign
and attached his objections. The final report was signed subject to reservations
by Hanbury, Lawson and Maclure. Lingen did not sign the main report, but
signed under his note of reservation.
60. Relative Values of Gold and Silver 1886-88
App. 20 Sept 1886. Rep. (1) 10 June 1887, C.5099, xxii; (2) 30 Jan 1888,
C.5248; (3) 31 Oct 1888, C.5512-i, xlv. Cost £1,652.
A.J. Balfour; J. Chamberlain; Hon. C.W. Fremantle; Sir J. Lubbock; Sir T.H.
Farrer; J.R.B. Smith; D.M. Barbour; J.W. Birch; L.L. Cohen; L.H. Courtney;
Secretary: G.H. Murray. (Named in Warr.)
Balfour became Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1887 and on 6 May 1887 the
Warrant was revoked and reissued with Lord Herschell as Chairman, although
Balfour remained on the Commission. With the exception of Bullen Smith the
other members were reappointed and were joined by Sir L. Mallet and H.
Chaplin. A further Warrant of 26 July 1887 appointed S. Montagu in the place
of Cohen who had died. Chamberlain resigned in Sept 1887 and was not
To investigate the causes of recent changes in relative values of precious metals
and especially to inquire whether these were due to (1) depreciation of silver; (2)
depreciation of gold; (3) both. Further to inquire upon the bearing of these
changes on practical business matters in India and the United Kingdom; if there
had been serious effects to recommend ways of alleviating them. The Warrant
is very detailed.
The final report has three parts, reflecting the divergent conclusions of the
Commissioners: Part I was signed by all; Part II was signed by Herschell,
Fremantle, Lubbock, Farrer, Birch and Courtney. Lubbock and Birch appended
a note dissenting to some sections; Farrer attached a note clarifying one of the
conclusions. Part III was signed by the remaining members, with a lengthy note
by Mallet giving reasons for his adoption of Part III and for his dissent from Part
II. Barbour wrote a similar note with 2 appendices, while Montagu attached a
brief explanation of his views.
61. Mauritius 1886-87
App. 25 Sept 1886. Rep. 7 Jan 1887. Not presented to Parliament, but
summarized in a Despatch written by H.T. Holland (Secretary of State for the
Colonies), dated 12 July 1887, C.5101, lviii, 347. The costs were met from
Sir H.G.R. Robinson was appointed to inquire into the affairs of the Colony of
Mauritius. (Taken from the London Gazette, 1 Oct 1886; the Warrant was not
reprinted in full either in the Gazette or the Parliamentary Papers.)
Secretary: F.R. Round (Colonial Office); was appointed Colonial Secretary in
1887 and replaced by F.J. Newton, private secretary to Robinson. (PRO.T.1/1679)
The enquiry was mainly concerned with charges of maladministration on the part
of the governor, Sir J. Pope Hennessy. On the basis of the Commission's report
Holland concluded that although mistakes had been made, there was not
sufficient cause to justify his removal from office.
62. Warlike Stores 1886-88
App. 27 Sept 1886. Rep. (1) 16 May 1887, C.5062-i, xv; (2) 30 Apr 1888,
C.5413,xxv, 541. Cost £995.
Sir J.F. Stephen; Sir A. Alison; Sir W.B. Barttelot; N. Salmon; J. Percy.
Secretary: J. Alleyne. (Army Colonel; named in Warr.)
To inquire into the system under which patterns of warlike stores were adopted
and the stores obtained and passed for the service and whether any improvements
could be made, also to investigate complaints or defects since 1 July 1881 to date
Salmon did not sign the final report.
A series of letters between Stephen and the Secretary of State for War, H.C.E.
Childers, is included in the final report. Childers felt that the Commission had
done him an injustice in stating that he took a decision on technical matters on
which he was not qualified to judge. This interpretation was denied by Stephen,
and as the matter was not resolved, the correspondence was printed in the
63. Irish Land Laws 1886-87
App. 29 Sept 1886. Rep. 21 Feb 1887, C.4969-i-ii, C.5015 (separate report by
Knipe), xxvi. Cost £2,953.
Earl Cowper; Earl of Milltown; Sir J. Caird; J.C. Neligan; G. Fottrell, Jnr.
Secretary: F.G. Hodder. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
To inquire and report to what extent the operation of the Land Law (Ireland) Act
of 1881 was affected either by combinations to resist the enforcement of legal
obligations or by an exceptional fall in the price of produce; and on the extent
to which tenants had availed themselves of provisions of the Purchase of Land
(Ireland) Act of 1885, and whether it might be improved or modified.
Fottrell resigned 1 Oct 1886 before the Commission had met and was replaced
by Thomas Knipe.
Milltown attached a reservation to the report. Knipe did not sign and attached
a letter explaining that he did not agree with many of the Commission's
suggestions; and that as a tenant farmer he was unable and could not be expected
to fully understand the meaning of the proposed legal changes. He issued a
separate report dated 17 March 1887.
64. Irish Public Works 1886-88
App. 16 Oct 1886. Rep. (1) 9 Apr 1887, C.5038-i, xxv, 471; (2) 4 Jan 1888,
C.5264-i, xlviii, 143. Cost £12,154.
Sir J.J. Allport; J. Abernethy; J.W. Barry; J.T. Pim.
Secretary: S.E.Spring-Rice. His appointment on 20 Oct 1886 was recorded in the
Dublin Gazette of 22 Oct 1886, with that of W.F. Bailey, Assistant Secretary.
To inquire into the harbours, drainage and railways of Ireland, and the most
appropriate means of financing their improvement.
65. Market Rights 1887-91
App. 5 July 1887. Rep. (1) 9 Aug 1888, C.5550, liii; (2) 15 Jan 1891: 1890-91,
C.6268, xxxvii. Other papers: 1888, C.5550-i-iii, in liii-lv; 1889, C.5888-i,
xxxviii; 1890-91, C.6268-i-vii in vols. xxxvii-xli inc. Cost £11,909.
Earl of Derby; Lord Balfour of Burleigh; H.C.E. Childers; Sir J.P. Corry; Sir T.
Martineau; C.I. Elton; F.W. Maclean; H. Broadhurst; S. Charrington; J.J.
Harwood; W.C. Little; J. McCarthy.
Secretary: T.B. Cockerton. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
Two further Warrants of 2 Jan 1888 and 18 Apr 1888 appointed J.A. Picton and
P. Mahony respectively in place of Broadhurst and McCarthy, both of whom had
resigned. Before the first report was signed Cockerton was replaced as Secretary
by H.A.P. Rooke. Five Assistant Commissioners were appointed: B.F.C.
Costelloe; A.J. Ashton; C.M. Chapman; C.W. Black; J.J. O'Meara.
To inquire into the holding of Market Rights and Tolls; how and under what
authority they were exercised; and to report on any desirable legislative changes.
The final report was signed by all the Commissioners but subject to reservations
by Balfour, Childers, Corry, Martineau, Little, Picton and Mahony which they set
out in a series of Supplementary Reports. Corry authorised the Secretary to sign
for him as he had left England before the report was ready for signature.
66. Malta 1887-88
App. 17 Dec 1887. Rep. 7 Feb 1888, lxxiii, 634. Costs not included in the
Parliamentary Returns for Royal Commissions. (RSM&S)
G.S. Baden-Powell and Sir G.F. Bowen.
Secretary: A. Froude.
To inquire into the manner of dividing the island of Malta and its dependencies
into electoral districts.
Their report was not presented as a separate command paper but was contained
within the Further Correspondence respecting the Constitution and Administration
of Malta in the P.P. volume given above.
67. Metropolitan Board of Works 1888-89
App. 20 March 1888. Rep. (1) pres. 6 Nov 1888, C.5560, lvi; (2) 8 Apr 1889,
C.5705, xxxix, 319. Cost £927.
Lord Herschell; F.A. Bosanquet; H.R. Grenfell.
Secretary: V.A. Williamson. (Not named in either Warr. or report; HO file
[below] records his appointment [24 March 1888] on Herschell's
To inquire into and report upon the working of the Metropolitan Board of
Works, and into the irregularities which are alleged to have taken place in
connection therewith. (In full.)
This Commission was given additional powers to compel the attendance of
witnesses under the Metropolitan Board (Commission) Act 1888, 51 Vict. c.6.
Following publication of the first report the Home Office sought an Opinion from
the Treasury Solicitor as to whether proceedings should be brought against
certain named officials of the Board who had already resigned their positions, but
it was recommended (10 Nov 1888) that no further action should be taken.
68. University for London 1888-89
App. 2 May 1888. Rep. 29 Apr 1889, C.5709-i, xxxix, 323. Cost £907.
Earl of Selborne; J.T. Ball; Sir J. Hannen; Hon. G.C. Brodrick; Sir W. Thomson;
G.G. Stokes; J.E.C. Welldon.
Secretary: J.L. Goddard. (Barrister; named in Warr.)
To inquire whether any and what kind of new university was required for the
advancement of higher education in London.
The report was signed subject to reservations by Thomson, Stokes and Welldon.
Brodrick had resigned before the report was completed.
69. Administration in the Army and Navy 1888-90
App. 7 June 1888. Rep. (1) 10 July 1889; (2) 11 Feb 1890, C.5979, xix. Cost
Marquess of Hartington; Lord R.H. Spencer-Churchill; Lord Revelstoke; W.H.
Smith; H. Campbell-Bannerman; Sir R. Temple; Sir F.W. Richards; H.
Brackenbury; T.H. Ismay.
Joint Secretaries: G.S. Clarke and W.H. Hall.
To inquire into the civil and professional administration of the Naval and
Military Departments, and their relation to each other and to the Treasury; and
to report on what changes would lead to efficiency and economy in the Public
All signed the first, preliminary, report subject to various dissensions and
reservations from Churchill, Temple, Richards, Brackenbury and Ismay. The
final report was signed by all with reservations from Campbell-Bannerman,
Temple, Brackenbury and Ismay.
PRO.HO.45/9791/B4267 gives details of the disposal of the Commission's
papers; some papers were sent to the Record Office, where their receipt was
acknowledged on 17 Nov 1892. Those papers which were judged to be less
important were sent to the Stationery Office to be confidentially destroyed. (File
note of 14 Nov 1892.)
70. Welsh Sunday Closing 1889-90
App. 25 May 1889. Rep. pres. 31 March 1890, C.5994-i; C.5994A, Welsh
translation, xl. Cost £2,035.
Lord Balfour of Burleigh; Viscount Emlyn; J.T. Hibbert; Sir R. Harington; H.
Secretary: J. Rhys (Jesus Professor of Celtic at University of Oxford; named in
Warr.), who also acted as interpreter since a number of witnesses spoke only
To inquire into the operation of the Sunday Closing (Wales) Act 1881.
PRO.HO.45/9806/B6168A contains correspondence between the Home Office and
Treasury about the Welsh translation of the report which it was agreed should be
undertaken by Professor Rhys for a fee of no more than £50. The completed
translation was received by the Home Office on 28 May 1890, but it was
recommended that it should not be laid before Parliament as it would be
unintelligible to most of the members.
71. Vaccination 1889-97
App. 29 May 1889. Rep. (1) 12 Aug 1889, C.5845, xxxix, 657; (2) 29 May 1890,
C.6066; (3) 7 Aug 1890, C.6192, xxxix, 367; (4) 28 July 1891: 1890-91, C.6527,
xliv, 735; (5) 21 Apr 1892, C.6666, xlvii, 547; (6) 14 Feb 1896, C.7993, xlvii;
(7) pres. 14 Aug 1896, C.8270, xlvii, 889. Appendices: 1897, C.8609-15,
xlv-xlvii. Cost £13,040.
Lord Herschell; Sir J. Paget; Sir C. Dalrymple; Sir W.G. Hunter; Sir E.H.
Galsworthy; W.S. Savory (d. 4 March 1895); C. Bradlaugh; J.S. Bristowe (d. 20
Aug 1895); W.J. Collins; J.S. Dugdale; M. Foster; J. Hutchinson; J.A. Picton; S.
Whitbread; F.M. White.
Secretary: B. Ince.
A second Commission of 8 Apr 1891 appointed J.A. Bright to replace Bradlaugh
who had died 30 Jan 1891.
To inquire and report as to the effects of vaccination in reducing death from
smallpox; alternatives to vaccination for reducing the disease; and alterations in
the provisions under the Vaccination Acts.
Collins and Picton did not sign the final report, appending a lengthy statement
of the grounds for their dissent; they also signed a note of dissension with
Whitbread and Bright (who had both signed the report). Hunter and Hutchinson
signed subject to a note of dissent.
PRO.HO.45/9810/B6619 contains documentation of a number of cases where
legal action was taken against persons who failed to comply with the Vaccination
Acts, as well as correspondence relating to the premature publication of the
report. It was decided to amend the instructions to Secretaries so as to stress their
responsibility for keeping the contents of the report confidential until it had been
sent to the Queen and presented to Parliament.
Collins wrote a memoir of his work on the Commission, possibly intended for
publication, which is held with his papers at the University of London Library.