Appendix 8 - R. P. Hinks' resignation


Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities

British Museum

London W.C.1. 13 January 1939

My dear Ashmole,

I have given further careful thought to the charge of serious dereliction of duty in the Board of Enquiry's interim report on Damage done to the Parthenon Sculpture; and I wish to make a further statement in answer to that charge.

You will remember that I was absent from the Museum on sick leave from the end of September 1936 until the middle of March 1937, except for a short interval in December. On returning to duty, my first care was to make up as far as I could for the time lost during my illness by devoting myself principally to the tasks which the Keeper had entrusted to me: namely, the redecoration and rearrangement of the Bronze Room and the revision of the Catalogue of Bronzes.

Events have unhappily shown that during the Keeper's absence on subsequent occasions I should have given more general and more constant supervision to the work in progress in the masons' shops; and I wish to take this opportunity of expressing my profound regret for the damage which, through this failure of mine, was done to the Parthenon sculpture during the time when I had charge of the Department.

In view of the strictures upon my conduct in the Board of Enquiry's interim report, and the severe reprimand which (as I learn from the Director's letter of 31 December) the Trustees administered to me at their meeting on 10 December, I believe that the Trustees will expect me to tender my resignation. I should have done so before, had I not been reluctant to leave the Department without a Keeper; but since you have very generously consented to take charge of it, I beg that you will ask the Director to place my position unreservedly in the hands of the Trustees.

Yours sincerely,

R. P. Hinks


Bernard Ashmole, Esq.



The Director submitted a letter from Mr. Hinks, 13 January, tendering his resignation to the Trustees in view of the strictures passed upon his conduct by the Board of Inquiry into damage done to sculpture of the Parthenon, and expressing his profound regret for his failure in the supervision of the masons' shops during the Keeper's absence. The Committee, having considered the letter, resolved to accept as from 28 February 1939 the resignation thereby tendered by Mr. Hinks, and to recommend to the General Board that in view of the statements made in the letter and of Mr. Hinks' resignation, the resolution of the General Board passed on 10 December 1938 reducing Mr Hinks 10 years in seniority and pay be rescinded in so far as regards that reduction. The Committee also resolved that, pending the decision of the General Board, no reduction be made in the salary payable to Mr. Hinks.