Prefatory note

Page 5

Survey of London Monograph 1, Trinity Hospital, Mile End. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1896.

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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?