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Document number: 5661
Date: 12 Feb 1858
Recipient: COTTRELL George Edward
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st September 2003

<draft>

Cottrell

12 Feb / 58

I hve recd yr lrs of ye 10th & 11th – I can have no possible objn t yr statg yr opinn fully on all pnts It may be that a temprte discussn will remove some of ye difficties & cause our views t approxte more nearly.

As to the Railway. You have forgotten that in a correspce som mths ago I stated t you, that I thought I cd undertake to make the railw. provided the I recd as toll the same sum or nearly so, as wd be saved to the lessee by the use of ye railway, & I particly asked your opinn whether you considd it a fair principle and ^a just arrangt as it appd to me to be – To wch y replied that in yr opinn it wd be a fair arrangt. I cd refer you to ye date of this correspce if y. wish it.

Now my first proposal differs only in 1 respect, viz tht I do not propose the toll shd be ^equal to the whole Sum saved by the lessee, but ^only to a smaller sum part of it.

Y. obsve that the GWR carries ore at 7/16 penny pr ton pr mile – Perfectly true: but then the GWR has 50 other sources of revenue whereas your ore wd be the only traffic on my line.

As to the land. If your wish to augment the qy of land to 15 acres & the term to 21 yrs be founded upon ye ^supposed necessy of ye thing in order to the carrying out of works upon a really large scale, I feel that I cd not so you there employ make use of a very strong argumt – But as you principally rest it in some respects, perhaps principally, on a possible competition, I fear tht y have not fully considd the subjt, & as I shd be extremely sorry that you entered into any engagemts under a misapprehensn I must remind you that it is not in my power to prevent competitn For for it may be reasonbly supposd that iron ore exists more or less abundly on the land belongg to my neighbours Capt G. & Mr S. on Bowden Hill, & if so of course I cannot they may some day begin to work it –

As I have not seen any specns actually raised on this land, you are as capable of frmg a judgmt on the matter as I am, whether it is likely that the deposit of ore extends right & left of my Nethermore trial pits, and to what distance – I think G. must have ore in a field abt ¼ mile South of the Sandpit, at ye same time, as I have not seen it, I speak only on geological grounds as a matter of possibility. The working that ore or other ore wd be a competitn, & to a certn extent injurs –unless indeed you carried their ore ^for them down to the canal on your tramroad, and took a toll for it wch might convert the loss into an advantage –

You speak of You say that perhaps the ore wd might be sent by way of Seend. I had not overlooked that. In that case, if the ore is going to Wales or Staffordsh by the GWR it is easy to see that the saving obtained by my branch rail wd be Canal carriage 8 miles, railwy carriage 9 miles. total 17 miles I won’t trouble y. today with it but I have procured from Mr Saunders the Secy of the GWR a statemt of the charge for carryg all ore to the ore 120 miles into Staffdsh. or elsewh wch is really very low, & evidly leaves a large margin of profit to the lessee, but I am confidt that when ye Bristol & S Wales junctn line opens there will wch saves 40

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Cottrell 12 Feb / 58

or 50 miles there will be a great demand in Wales for Wiltsh. ore

<expanded version>

Cottrell

12 February 1858

I have received your letters of the 10th and 11th <1> – I can have no possible objection to your stating your opinion fully on all points. It may be that a temperate discussion will remove some of the difficulties and cause our viewsto approximate more nearly.

As to the Railway. You have forgotten that in a correspondence some months ago I stated to you, that I thought I could undertake to make the railway provided the I received as toll the same sum or nearly so, as would be saved to the lessee by the use of the railway, <2> and I particularly asked your opinion whether you considered it a fair principle and a just arrangement as it appeared to me to be – To which you replied that in your opinion it would be a fair arrangement. I could refer you to the date of this correspondence if you wish it.

Now my first proposal differs only in one respect, viz that I do not propose the toll should be equal to the whole Sum saved by the lessee, but only to a smaller sum part of it.

Your observation that the Great Western Railway carries ore at 7/16 penny per ton per mile – Perfectly true: but then the Great Western Railway has fifty other sources of revenue whereas your ore would be the only traffic on my line.

As to the land. If your wish to augment the quantity of land to fifteen acres and the term to twenty-one years be founded upon the supposed necessity of the thing in order to the carrying out of works upon a really large scale, I feel that I could not so you there employ make use of a very strong argument– But as you principally rest it in some respects, perhaps principally, on a possible competition, I fear that you have not fully considered the subject, and as I should be extremely sorry that you entered into any engagements under a misapprehension I must remind you that it is not in my power to prevent competition For for it may be reasonably supposd that iron ore exists more or less abundantly on the land belonging to my neighbours Capt Gladstone and Mr Starky <3> on Bowden Hill, & if so of course I cannot they may some day begin to work it –

As I have not seen any specimens actually raised on this land, you are as capable of forming a judgememt on the matter as I am, whether it is likely that the deposit of ore extends right and left of my Nethermore trial pits, and to what distance – I think Capt. Gladstone must have ore in a field about one-quarter mile South of the Sandpit, at the same time, as I have not seen it, I speak only on geological grounds as a matter of possibility. The working that ore or other ore would be a competition, and to a certain extent injurious – unless indeed you carried their ore for them down to the canal on your tramroad, and took a toll for it which might convert the loss into an advantage –

You speak of You say that perhaps the ore would might be sent by way of Seend. I had not overlooked that. In that case, if the ore is going to Wales or Staffordshire by the Great Western Railway it is easy to see that the saving obtained by my branch rail would be Canal carriage eight miles, railway carriage nine miles, total seventeen miles. I won’t trouble you today with it but I have procured from Mr Saunders the Secretary of the Great Western Railway a statement of the charge for carrying all ore to the ore 120 miles into Staffordshire or elsewhere which is really very low, and evidentlyleaves a large margin of profit to the lessee, but I am confident that when the Bristol and South Wales junction line opens there will which saves forty or fifty miles there will be a great demand in Wales for Wiltshire ore.


Notes:

1. See Doc. No: 07544 and Doc. No: 07550.

2. See Doc. No: 05539.

3. Captain John Neilson Gladstone (1807–1863), MP and John Bayntun Starky (b.1834) of Spye Park.

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