[Cardinal Manning.] Autograph copy of memorandum on 'the Reformatory School for Catholic Boys at Brook Green, Hammersmith', addressed to the Home Secretary Spencer Walpole, and docketted by Nicholas Wiseman.
6pp., foolscap 8vo. On two grey-paper bifoliums. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. Docketted by Wiseman on the reverse of the last leaf: 'Dr Manning's Mem[orandu]m to Walpole on Reform[ator]ies'. The document (presumably copied by Wiseman expressly for Manning) is addressed to 'The Right Hon. Spencer Walpole M.P.', and is complete to the valediction, but unsigned. It begins: 'Sir | I beg leave to lay before you a subject of much importance affecting the Reformatory School for Catholic Boys at Brook Green, Hammersmith which is under my direction. | Being duly certified by the Secretary of State in accordance with the recent acts of Parliament the School is under the inspection of the Inspector of Reformatory Schools, the Revnd. Sidney Turner. | Of that gentleman's courtesy and consideration in all transactions I have had with him I desire to bear my full testimony, and at the outset to state that nothing on his part affords to me the motive of this communication.' The letter concerns an inspection by an inspector on behalf of the Committee of Privy Council on Education: 'it has been intimated that the Inspector would not personally examine Catholic boys in their religious instruction, but that such an examination might be conducted by proper persons in his presence. | This however only masks the difficulty. The ultimate judgment as to the sufficiency and character of such religious instruction is thereby still vested in the Inspector. | I forbear from drawing out in detail the obvious anomalies and inconveniences which must arise from such a practice, because I believe them to be self-evident. I am only anxious to state that to the manager of such Catholic Reformatory Schools these anomalies and inconveniences involve a principle which they are precluded in conscience from accepting.' As a consequence he proposes 'an easy mode of removing the difficulty a mode satisfactory I trust to Her Majesty's Government also, as affording a full guarantee for the due religious instruction of such R. Cathol. Reformatory Schools'. Manning's appeal is unlikely to have been met with sympathy. According to The Times (23 May 1898), Walpole had a lifelong reputation ‘as a zealous protestant prone to detect Jesuitism and kindred dangers in unsuspected quarters'. From the Wiseman papers.