<a virtually verbatim draft is in the collection of the Royal Photographic Society>
Lacock Abbey, Chippenham
June 13th 1860
Your letter though dated the 8th inst. <1> only reached here Yesterday. With your permission I will defer further consideration of the question of the zincography with reference to my patent, <2> for a couple of months, for the reason that I am going to the Continent next week, or very soon afterwards, being one of the devoted band of astronomers and men of science who intend health permitting – to observe the eclipse of the 18th July in the North of Spain –
From the particulars You mention in your letter of the present mode of engraving the Ordnance maps it results that the actual engraving is wholly done by hand – All that photography does for you is to trace out an outline which the engraver is to follow with his tool as closely as he can. But in a map 3 × 2 feet I think there must be some thousands of names and I do not see how these can be engraved by one man with less than several days labour. Consequently though I cannot estimate exactly the saving wch wd be effected by the photoglyphic process, I perceive that it must be considerable.
Yours very Truly
H. F. TalbotCol Sir H James &c Southampton
2. WHFT and James were in negotiation over the process of zincography employed by the Ordnance Survey Office, and whether it infringed either of WHFT’s patents for photographic or photoglyphic engraving.