January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC, CHARLES DICKENS, AND JOHN FORSTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES ; 8 February 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560208-TCCDJF-EOT-01; CL 31: 25-26


Athenaeum Club, Pall-mall, Feb. 8 [1856]

Sir,—On behalf of such of your readers as took interest in the subscription for Samuel Johnson's goddaughter, the aged Miss Lowe, and her sister, which was set on foot in November last, will you permit us to announce that the same is about to close?

The sum raised is still but a little over 250l.; but, on the other hand, the price of such a life annuity as was proposed proves cheaper than we anticipated; and in addition to this there has been a lucky chance come to help us somewhat. Mauritius Lowe, Miss Lowe's father, is now discovered to have been the benevolent painter by whom Turner, at that time a barber's boy, was first recognized, befriended, and saved to art, in return for which fine action an ardent and renowned admirer of Turner1 (whose name we need not indicate further) desires to gratify himself by bestowing henceforth 5l. annually on the Misses Lowe, and permits us to publish his resolution, if that can make it more binding. So that, on the whole, there is now as good as an “additional annuity of 30l.,” which was our minimum limit, secured for these aged ladies; and thus, by one means and another, our small problem can be considered as done.

One fact must not be omitted. There has been no soliciting, nor shadow of such, anywhere used in this matter. The sum gathered has altogether fallen voluntarily. Very sincerely we beg to thank our fellow-contributors, and dismiss the little transient assemblage with a kindly farewell.

The subscription-books at Messrs. Coutts's, Strand, and at Messrs. Grote and Prescott's, 62, Threadneedle-street, City, will continue open until Wednesday, the 12th of March. After Wednesday, the 12th of March, they will be closed, and the net amount will then promptly be invested in the form of life annuity for the Misses Lowe,—we expect, in the Mitre Insurance-office, 23, Pall-mall,—and, so soon as that operation is complete, the list of subscribers will be published in The Times.

We have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obliged and faithful servants,