June 19th 1830
my reason for discharging william Moore <1> was in order to try and make him do better than he has done, I have taken him back again on friday, without knowing that he wrote to you, <2> untill <sic> I received your letter this morning had you been here I should not have done any such thing without first acquainting you of it. but it turned out so that I was obliged to do it at the time or else allow him to do what he thought proper –which I shall explain – Sir, before I came gardener to you the men had the key of the garden left out for them so that they might get in and set themselves to work whenever they came which never was at the proper time and so much the worse for me to break them of it this they told me and wanted me to leave the key for them as usual – but that I would not agree to – my time in the morning is half past five and I expect every man to be ready to go to work at six. this I have been long trying to manage without troubling you and I should not complain now only you desire to know and even now I cannot get them to be here in time
I then made a Rule that any man who was not here at six oclock I should stop a quarter of a day from him altho I said so still I paid them full time Moore comes to work at all hours 6. 7. 8 and 2 and then expect <sic> to be paid – on last monday morning he came here to work at a quarter before eight I then told him he might go and play untill breakfast time for he should not be paid for it. he went away and came at ten. advised by some of the rest to not mind what I should say as I dare not discharge any of them he then told me as I gave him a quarter he should take another I told him if he did he should not come to work here again. he said he did not care for that as he could live independent to this place with that he went away and spent that part of the day in the publick house and then came again at two oclock in very fit order to abuse me I told him then he might go about his business that I should have nothing more to do with him – by the independent manner in which he came to me I could not do otherwise with him without allowing him to be master and act as he pleased – but this you may rely upon that your work will never be properly attended to in your absence without the men were made acquainted that it lay in my power to discharge them if they do not do justice, not that I want to discharge any men the more for their knowing that– and I am the person to know whether they attend properly or no and there is no doubt but William Moore and all the rest will think, that I was obliged to employ him again on account of him writing to you and cause him and them to act more independently with me than before – and I think it was a very great liberty of Moore or any man in his station to write to a gentleman about me. and knowing his former conduct – it is great encouragement for all the rest to do the same. I employed Moore again on the condition that it would be owing to his future conduct how long he should be employed – I always allowed him twenty minutes in the morning when he carried an empty Hamper from Chippenham. <3> there is no man gives labouring men more justice than I do them. I should very <sic> thankful for an answer to know if you approve of what I have done & I have not forgot to gather the ivy berries – nor yet the mowing of the walks in inwood <4> as you may see by my journal I cannot put in any Honeysuckle cuttings before the autumn – untill the sap goes down I shall then put in a good many.
Your Obdt Huble Servt
1. William Moore, gardener's assistant at Lacock Abbey.
3. Chippenham, Wiltshire: largest town near Lacock, 3 miles N.
4. Inwood, near Lacock, Wiltshire.