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Document number: 07401
Date: 06 May 1857
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BOLTON John Henry
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA57-16
Last updated: 8th March 2012

Lincoln’s Inn <1>
6 May 1857

My dear Sir

I have written & sent a letter to Messrs Fry & Loxley <2> of which the enclosed is an exact copy.

Ever Your’s faithfully
J. H Bolton

Wm H. F. Talbot Esq


Lincoln’s Inn
6th 4 May 1857

Dear Sirs

Talbot v Clarke & Walker & ors <3>[centred rule]

We send You on the other half sheet – a sketch of the heads of arrangement of this action and if unacceptable to You in any respect be pleased to say wherein it is so.

There are 2 points in which they vary from Your Mr Loxley’s suggestion on Thursday – viz

1st As to an exclusive License & 2dly on the amount of per Centage named for the Royalty.

On the 1st point, Mr Talbot is not disposed to grant the Compy <4> an exclusive License because that would interfere with his wish and intention to bring into action what he considers to be the most curious and scientific part of the Invention viz the Engraving on Steel Plates by Chloride of Platina which clothes the Chrome Gelatine Picture –

Having regard to this view & that it is only a another part of Mr T’s invention the use of which is required by the Compy it does not appear to us that this will be objected to by Your Clients: it is nevertheless a sine qua non <5> on Mr Talbot’s part.

On the 2d point – as to amount of Royalty, Mr Talbot would be willing bearing in mind Your statement as to the large amount already expended by the Compy and the small sum rela realised to this time not only to waive all claim for royalty retrospectively but that the royalty shall not commence to be payable until after the sale of 3,000 <6> Copies of Plates following the date of the License –

No 4 The object of this is to give Mr Talbot the privilege of

Believe me to remain My dear Sirs Yours ever faithfully
Price B & H
sd Price B & Hilder

Draught [illegible deletion] Letter for Mr Talbots consideration and approval

Fox Talbot Esqr v Clarke Walker & ors

Proposed terms of arrangement without prejudice –[centred rule]

1. The Company to take Mr F. Talbots License – to be mentioned in all publications emanating from the Coy.

2. The Company to pay Mr Talbot a royalty of 5 prCent <7> upon the Gross sales – accounts to be made up quarterly and to be inspected by Mr T’s agent.

3. To avoid future misunderstanding The Compy are not to consider it an infringement of their Patent if Mr Talbot should electrotype his own chrome gelatine photographs and steel engravings as descrd in the specificon <8> of his Patent by the ordinary processes of Electrotype viz by such as were known prior to the date of Mr Pretsch’s Patent.

4. The Company not to sell or part with their own Chrome Gelatine photographs nor the Engraved Metal plates without Mr Talbots consent.

5. Each Party to pay his own costs of Suit – this to include the costs of the Deft Dallas. <9>


1. One of the four Inns of Court,’ the ‘colleges’ of barristers at the English Bar. Bolton had his chambers [lawyers offices and, at the time, living-quarters also] there.

2. Solicitors for the proprietors of the Patent Photogalvanographic Company with whom Talbot was in dispute regarding his patent for photographic engraving. See Doc. No: 07807.

3. This was a reference to James Carlton, a muslin manufacturer who took on George Walker as a partner. In addition to his commercial success (or perhaps as a foundation of it) "there has perhaps not been a Manchester merchant whose character for honour and integrity stood higher than James Carlton's": Josiah Thomas Slugg, Reminiscences of Manchster Fifty Years Ago (Manchester: A. E. Cornish, 1881), p. 27. See also Doc. No: 07437.

4. The Patent Photo-Galvanographic Company (commonly, The Photogalvanographic Company) was based on the work of Paul Pretsch (1808–1873), Austrian photographer & inventor and former Manager of the Imperial Printing Establishment in Vienna. Located in Holloway Road, Islington, London, from 1856-1857, Pretsch took over as manager and Roger Fenton (1819–1869), photographer & lawyer, was a partner and their chief photographer. Starting in late 1856, they published a serial portfolio, Photographic Art Treasures, or Nature and Art Illustrated by Art and Nature, illustratated with photogalvanographs derived from several photographer's works. Photogalvanography was uncomfortably closely based on elements of WHFT’s patented 1852 Photographic Engraving but, unlike Talbot, the plates were heavily retouched by hand. Compounding the legal objections of Talbot, their former manager, Duncan Campbell Dallas, set up a competing company to produce the Dallastype. The company collapsed and near the end of 1860 Pretsch, out of money, allowed his patent to lapse. A public appeal was launched in 1861 to assist him but he returned to Vienna in 1863 in ill health, going back to the Imperial Printing Establishment, but finally succumbing to cholera.

5. an indispensable condition

6. Inserted above line in blank space left for the purpose.

7. See Doc. No: 07396.

8. bar over word to indicate contraction, i.e. ‘specification’.

9. Duncan Campbell Dallas. See Doc. No: 07399.