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Document number: 7559
Date: 27 Feb 1858
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: COTTRELL George Edward
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA58-023
Last updated: 1st September 2003

7 Eaton Place South

27th Feb: 1858

My dear Sir

I have thought once or twice that you would be able to give useful information on one point in the Shrewsbury case – If I recollect right your estate of Lacock was derived from a daughter of Sir Sharington – and one point, I think, in the case was whether one Sharington Talbot did or did not leave male issue – It should <serve?> as if the issue of the Talbot who married the daughter of Sir Sharington would have been the Sharington Talbot in question and of the branch through which you derive your Estate – and if so there ought to be but in the difficulty in showing the failure or otherwise of that branch – Lord Talbot may be in the unpleasant position of being heir to those Estates without being able to prove it – as showing the Estates are wholly dependent upon the proof of heir to the Earldom – to which he may be fully Entitled without being able to prove it in a manner satisfactory to the Lords – Generally speaking a person showing the last title may take an Estate until some one show a better – but not so here –

Upon the Subject of Iron I quite agree that it will be desirable that your loop line should be made – not that I think that at a toll of 1s/ per Ton the lessee would gain in £.S.d. but in other respects there are advantages –

I beg to assure you & your informant, that it is a complete error to suppose that Messrs Sarl have paid Mr Locke £5000 or one sixpence in reduction of royalty – The greater part of the land is let upon a simple royalty of 1s/ without any money payment whatever the rest (by a great mistake) at 1/2d without any money payment Had the case been as represented to you it would have proved nothing – save this – that it would have shown that the terms were agreed upon without sufficient practical knowledge of the subject – If we had to begin again now we would not pay a fraction over 6d/ per Ton – and I doubt whether any one else would give so much – and at that rate the royalty would exceed in proportion the average royalty upon the Cumberland Hæmatites I fully think that upon your best ore your lessee might be able to afford a some what higher royalty but I am equally certain that a royalty of 1s/ per Ton upon the inferior qualities is <greatly?> more too much that it is too little upon the higher quality of Stone – and consequently that 1s/ all round is not only fair but fully as much as the tenant could pay with any chance of profit – The intent of both landlord & Tenant is to make as much of the stone saleable as possible – & this can only be done upon the principle of taking the average all round – your lessee will make a failure of the workings if the Expenses should be so high as to compel him to reject any portion of the ore as unsaleable at prime cost s – He must sell all he raises to make any of it pay –

In the course of a few weeks I shall have some funds with which I shall be willing to embark in the Experiment of working your ore upon the terms which I think I have make <sic> sufficiently Explicit by my letters – after which those funds will be diverted to other purposes – I hope you will think my views of the royalty reasonable & I am sure you will the <sic> 1s/ per Ton a much higher royalty than that usually paid –

Yours faithfully

George Cottrell

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