31 Oct / 57
In reply to yrs of yesty I wish to expln yt or landholdrs possess land on ye same hill
& ^or in its viciny as the M. of L. Mr Lysley &c &c and if they shd thk fit t. establsh rival wrks no one cd they cd do so. Hence it wd not be in my power to secure my lessee agst competn in this neighbhd. This being ye case, it apprs t me yt ye most advisble course is to lease a select portn of ye land, where ye ore apprs most promisg
It has bn stated, (and is so in the Devizes Gazette <1> of yesty) that
one ¼ of an acre at Seend has yielded namely the portn 1st worked, has yielded 20,000 tons of ore. But this I consr to be an exaggn or at any rate to be an exceptl case. However, if it is anything like correct, I shd conclude that 15 acres of land wd be as mch as cd be workd out by a lessee in 14 or 21 yrs. If that calcn is errons it is ^of course open to correctn as there may be vars opins on these matters. If I understd fm y. that this [illegible deletion] ye questn is And if ye quanty of land acreage named apprs to y insuffict perhaps y. will favour infm me what fther qy of land wd be desired by Messrs S. in order to carry out the mining operatns properly. Until I know this I am hardly in a posn to discuss wth y ye terms of a minl lease for this propy I can only say that if [illegible deletion] terms are offered by an agreemt is entd into I shall endeavor t carry ^it out in ye manner most satisfy t them.
31 October 1857
In reply to yours of yesterday I wish to explain that other landholders possess land on the same hill
and or in its vicinity as the Marquess of Lansdowne. Mr Lysley <2> etc. etc. and if they should think fit to establish rival works no one could they could do so. Hence it would not be in my power to secure my lessee against competition in this neighborhood. This being the case, it appears to me that the most advisable course is to lease a select portion of the land, where the ore appears most promising.
It has been stated, (and is so in the Devizes Gazette of yesterday) that one one-fourth of an acre at Seend
has yielded namely the portion first worked, has yielded twenty-thousand tons of ore. But this I consider to be an exaggeration or at any rate to be an exceptional case. However, if it is anything like correct, I should conclude that fifteen acres of land would be as much as could be worked out by a lessee in fourteen or twenty-one years. If that calculation is erroneous it is of course open to correction as there may be various opinions on these matters. If I understand from you that this [illegible] the question is And if the quantity of land acreage named appears to you insufficient perhaps you will favour inform me what further quantity of land would be desired by Messrs Sarl <3> in order to carry out the mining operations properly. Until I know this I am hardly in a position to discuss with you the terms of a mineral lease for this property. I can only say that if [illegible deletion] terms are offered by an agreement is entered into I shall endeavor to carry it out in the manner most satisfy to them.
1. Written over ‘paper’.
2. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863), MP, WHFT’s uncle, and William John Lysley (1791–1873), MP and sheriff. [See Who’s Who of British Members of Parliament].
3. Sarl & Company, London.