William Morris

The Trinity Almshouses

Allow me to add my thanks also to you for your straightforward attack on the cant which assumes that a public body having the administration of charities has but one mandate, to wit, the increase of its money at the expense of every other consideration.

As to the Trinity Almshouses, looking at the beauty and charm of the buildings and their immediate surroundings, and the reproach they throw on us for the squalor of the outside world of East London; and looking also at the pleasure and decency of life which they confer on the present inmates, I can think of nothing which (mutatis mutandis) fits the case better than the lines of Omar Khayyam.-

I often wonder what the vintners buy
One half so precious as the goods they sell.

We must all recognise to the full my friend Mr. Ashbee's single-hearted and indefatigable efforts on behalf of the London citizens; and none, I am sure, are more anxious to do so than our Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings; but lest anyone should think that we have been neglecting our duties, I may venture to tell you that we have been doing our best to help him.

I enclose my subscription towards the sum of £150, which, as it seems, the Trinity Brethren are too poor to find.

Letter to the Daily Chronicle, 26 November 1895.