The Preservation of Places of Interest or Beauty
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The Preservation of Places of Interest or Beauty


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“The Preservation of Places of Interest or Beauty” is a lecture delivered by Sir Robert Hunter at the University of Manchester in 1907. Sir Robert Hunter KCB (1844–1913) was a civil servant and solicitor who co-founded the National Trust. He campaigned for the conservation of public open spaces, working with other notable advocates including and Hardwicke Rawnsley and Octavia Hill. Hunter was also solicitor to the General Post Office, and it is estimates that he saved the taxpayer in Britain many millions of pounds while in this role. This essay will appeal to those with an interest in the history of British conservationism and is not to be missed by collectors of historically significant literature. Read & Co. Great Essays is republishing this classic essay now complete with an obituary of the author from a 1913 edition of “The Times”.



Publié par
Date de parution 14 août 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781528790796
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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The Preservation of Places of Interest or Beauty

First published in 1907

Copyright © 2020 Read & Co. Great Essays
This edition is published by Read & Co. Great Essays, an imprint of Read & Co.
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". . . By the efforts of Sir Robert Hunter and other friends, The National Trust for Preserving Places of Natural Beauty and of Historic Interest , was founded, which undertook to buy or accept from donors places in housing and open space work, and to care for and manage them for the people. . ."
An E xcerpt from Life of Octavia Hill as Told in Her Le tters , 1913 By Charles Ed mund Maurice

By Sir R obert Hunter

An Obituary from The Times, Friday, Nov 7 th , 1913
We have much regret to announce the death yesterday evening at his residence, Meadfields, Haslemere, of Sir Robert Hunter, who was for 30 years Solicitor to the Post Office. He had recently retired from that position, and was engaged last week in handing over his duties to his successor. He had remained at his official post to enable the authorities of the Post Office to deal effectively with the complexities of the Marconi contract, and it is natural to fear that arduous and anxious toil which marked the close of his service at St. Martin's-le-Grand haste ned his end.
Sir Robert Hunter was born October 27, 1844. After graduating M.A. At London University he was appointed in 1882 Solicitor to the Post Office through Fawcett, who had already had an opportunity of judging his capacity as a lawyer in business concerned with the Commons Preservation Society. Sir Robert Hunter proved himself to be a diligent and laborious departmental chief. His record may best be traced in the annual statements of successive Postmasters-General. The Marconi contract was the last of many problems. There has been no great change in postal administration during the past 30 years in which Sir Robert Hunter did not take part. He sat on practically all the principal Departmental Committees during his term of office, and naturally took part in many cases of litigation and arbitration. Most of the important contracts for the carriage of mails, whether by sea or rail were renewed under altered conditions during his time. He drafted the new agreements and settled them with the Secretary and the contractors. Again, throughout the whole of his time many negotiations and agreements with the telephone companies were under discussion, and he was solely responsible for them on the legal side. He believe d that it was in the interests of the Department that such documents should be drawn and carried through entirely within the Post Office. He made it is rule to form his own conclusions and to give his own advice instead of relying on opinions obtained from outside, and he believed that the Department profited by this policy in saving of time, in homogeneity and suitability of advice, and in the better training of his own assistants. The whole of the Post Office regulations, again were drafted by Sir Robert Hunter, some of them two or three times to meet alterations. He spent much time and trouble on the details of the Post Office Savings Bank, the practice which he greatly simplified a nd assisted.
But Sir Robert Hunter was not only a faithful servant of the State, within the limits of his professional responsibility, but, in the larger sense, an eminent servant of the people. Few of those who enjoy the great stretches of common land through England are conscious of the debt they owe to the group of able men whose action 40 years ago saved them for the nation. In 1867 Sir Henry Peek, being much interested in resisting the enclosure of Wimbledon Common, offered some prizes for essays on “Commons Preservation.” Among the successful competitors was Robert Hunter. Out of the concerted opposition to the claim of lords of the manor to enclose grew the Commons Preservation Society, a body to which England owes the existence of most of its great open tracts of natural beauty; and to this society Hunter was in 1868 appointed solicitor. Most of those with whom he was associated in those early days have passed away, but Lord Eversley and Mr. James Bryce remain to mourn the loss of a friend and colleague . The work that was to be done can hardly be described as the vindication of a public right, for in strictness no public right existed. To secure the commons for the enjoyment of the public it proved in practice sufficient to show that they were not the exclusive possession of the lord of the manor. To do this is a delicate acquaintance with the details of manorial law and custom in the remote past was essential, and Hunter was one of those experts who made this department of learning their familiar field.

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