Bowden Park <1>
My dear Talbot
I have some idea that you are returned home; therefore as I am leaving home till Saturday I will mention to you on paper a subject for which I wish to ask your Attention, and upon which it is probable some conversation may take place on Saturday after a Meeting of the supporters of the school, which Mr Matthews <2> has summoned for 2 o’Clock.
This subject relates to some Alterations in the Church –
1, You know how cold our Church is in the winter notwithstanding the unsightly Flues – I find that it wd cost about 60£ to substitute for those an efficient stove on the same plan as at Melksham <3> and many other churches, which have been erected by Messrs Haden <4> of Trowbridge.
2. The Roof – We have here famous oak Ribs – wanting only some thin Boarding let in between each, to make a handsome piece of work: by means of which the cost of Fuel in warming the Church wd be materially diminished –
3. A new arrangement of the Pews, to make those in the two Aisles & South Transept correspond with the Free seats, by which much room might be gained.
You will naturally ask me, what business it is of mine: to excuse myself for seeming to intrude, I must plead, that Mr Bowerbank <5> asked me last April to allow him to name me Vicar’s Churchwarden for this year: and so some of the Parishioners who have long been wanting one or other of these Alterations have considered themselves justified by my office, to speak to me about them; and when we came from London 2 months ago, I was pressed to lay the Business before the Parish – but all agreed to wait for your Return, and consult you first –
Accordingly I now should be very glad of half an hour’s conversation with you, if you can give it me, when I could shew you on the spot, what my notions are; you can see how far, if at all, you approve of them; and if you give your sanction to any part, I should like that to be submitted to the Parish at once –
Should you be at home on Saturday next between 12 & 1 o’clock. The school Meeting is at 2 – I could stop at your door on my way home from Westonbirt – Will you be so kind as to give me a line directed to me at
R. L. Holford’s Esq
Believe me dear Talbot yours vy sincerely
T H S Sotheron
1. Bowden Park, Wiltshire, 1 mi SE of Lacock.
2. Rev John Matthews, curate of Lacock, ca. 1850.
3. St Michael's and All Angels Church, Melksham, Wiltshire: market town near Lacock, 2 miles S.
5. Rev Lewis Bowerbank (1782-1853), curate of St Cyriac's, Lacock, 1846-1847; former Rector of St Catherines, Jamaica, 1823-1843; friend of Rev George Bridges.