LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
tLetters of the length of one of our leading paragraphs are often more read, and therefore more effective, than those which fill treble the space.]
SlJLGRAVE MANOR : SOME PRESENT REQUIREMENTS. LTo rue EDITOR Or THE " SPECTATOR.")
Sra,—I avail myself of permission courteously given by you some time ago to bring to the attention of your readers some practical requirements of our constructive and reconstructive work at Sulgrave Manor, the old English home of the Washing- tons. Since the formal reopening and dedication of Sulgrave Manor last June, after a partial restoration and furnishing of the Manor House, and careful laying out of the grounds, the Sulgrave Institution has received many indications of the wide- spread interest taken by both British and Americans in this common work of piety and friendship. Some of your readers will have seen the admirable article of Lord Crewe's in the January number of the Nineteenth Century upon the work of the Sulgrave Institution and Anglo-American Society, and there are many other indications that our effort to make of the place a shrine of Anglo-American friendship and co-operation has found widespread sympathy.
In speaking of the requirements of our work at Sulgrave, ft would be vain to conceal the fact that the chief of these require- ments consists of a larger financial support, sufficient not only to provide for annual maintenance, but to carry out also the further work of restoration and furnishing which has yet to be completed. I fear, however, that in present conditions it is of little use stressing this financial requirement, and I therefore will just mention it in passing while availing myself of your kindness to place before your readers a few practical require- ments, some at least of which it may be within their power to help us to satisfy. Taking first the interior equipment of the Manor House, we shall always be glad to receive gifts of well authenticated pieces of furniture suitable for a modest Manor House, and dating-between 1540 and 1620. We have already had presented some excellent Tudor and Jacobean pieces, which adorn the dining-hall and great bedchamber. We shall require more, when the remainder of the restoration work can be under- taken, for various bedrooms, the large old kitchen, and sitting- room. Lady Lee of Fareham tells me that she would much like to have for Sulgrave Manor a family Bible of the Tudor or early Jacobean date in its original binding, and also a Prayer-book, in its original binding, of similar date. She also mentions that other acceptable gifts would be a Horn-book, such as might have been used by the children of Lawrence Washington in learning their lessons, and an old needlework pincushion, or other similar articles. I may add to these suggestions that any silver of the period named would be welcomed, or manuscripts relating to the history of the Washington family in England, or old pictures, or books.
Coming next to the gardens and grounds of the Manor House, which have recently been laid out under the direction of Sir Reginald Blomfield, R.A., and which we hope will prove a most attractive feature of the estate, I can offer a number of sugges- tions for acceptable gifts which have been made to me by the excellent steward and -caretaker at Sulgrave, Mr. F. Carter. These include the following items:— " An old sundial (date about 1600) for the centre of the rose garden; a dovecote, to be placed at the tqp of one of the Barns; 4 ornamental yews (2 spiral and 2 clipped peacocks); 2 sets of bowls for use on the lawn in front of the Manor House; a water- ballast grass-roller ; some ornamental /towering shrubs and trees for plantations, -such as good scarlet mays, lilacs, silver birches, copper beeches, &c.; 60 good transplanted yews, 3 ft. high, to replace yews purchased which have died; 200 wooden chairs for outdoor functions; 6 12 ft. trestle tables; a few wicker seats for the garden; 2 good tea-urns; a strong marquee from 60 to 80 ft. long, in which to hold flower shows, &c., in the grounds."
But you will say that there is no end to our requirements and to my audacity in presenting them, so I stop at this point. I will only say in-conclusion that the making of the old Washing- ton home at Sulgrave into a great and beautiful centre for the activities of our Anglo-Americati friendship work is at once a labour of love and of practical political importance and value. There may be many who cannot in these bad times send us money, but who might like to contribute some or other of the various things I have named; and any, or all, of which the Governors of the Sulgrave Institution would receive with grati- tude. Any such gifts should be sent, carriage paid, addressed to the Steward and Caretaker, Sulgrave Manor, near Banbury, and will be duly acknowledged. Thanking you for your courtesy and hoping that I have not too much trespassed on your kindness.—I am, Sir, &c.,