This account was found by Janet McNamara, one of our Trustees, in the Chiswick Times of 26 September 1913. It describes the process of moving the Collection from Layton’s house to Brentford Library.
The Brentford Museum – The Trustees and the Free Library
A propos of the statement by Mr J Dorey, at the last meeting of the Brentford District Council, that Mr Cummins, one of the Layton trustees, told him that the trustees intended building a museum to house the collection left by the late Mr Thomas Layton, we have been informed that the gentleman in question was written to immediately after the Council meeting and asked if the statement was true. He has replied that it is not and that he never made any remarks that could be construed into such an idea. All he mentioned was that he should want the architect to design a tablet to be placed in the Free Library to commemorate the handing over of the Layton collection.
In his report to the District Council Mr Turner (the librarian) stated: – “The movement which began eighteen months ago for housing the magnificent collection of books, antiquities, and prints, formed by the late Thomas Layton, has now been brought to a very gratifying termination, and I am pleased to report that the application of the trustees for permission to transfer the collection from Layton House to the library has been successful. The matter was decided by Mr Justice Warrington in the High Court of Chancery on July 29th. The order of the court states that ‘the trustees be at liberty to deliver the collection of early British bronze and other implements, and books, pictures, curios, and articles of vertu to the committee of the Brentford Public Library for safe custody and exhibition’, and also to provide suitable bookshelves and showcases at a cost not exceeding £250, and to expend a sum not exceeding £50 for rebinding the books at the present time, and such further sum for repairing and rebinding as may be necessary to keep and preserve the books.
In addition to this, I have persuaded the executor to make financial arrangements for properly insuring the collection without any charge on the library funds, and in accordance with the terms of the will, and I am glad to say that the judge has decided that Mrs Fullard shall pay the expenses of ‘insuring the collection against fire, burglary, and larceny during her life’.
It will thus be seen that the whole of the Layton collection which the trustees deem worthy of preservation, comes to the library for public use without any expense to the institution.
I have received instructions to remove the books, curios, &c, without delay, and the committee will be interested to learn that I have already packed and removed over 2,000 volumes, several bookcases, print cabinets, bronze implements, and a large number of engravings, and the work of arranging and classifying is in progress.
The new bookcases, which the trustees will provide, are in process of construction, and I trust that before the next meeting of the committee they will be erected in position and ready for your inspection.”