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Document number: 04487
Date: 16 Apr 1842
Postscript: Monday
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BEARD Richard
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA(B)42-15
Last updated: 4th September 2012

Apl 16 1842


It is with great regret I have discovered for the first time on perusing the Draft agreement and on calling upon Mr W Carpmeal <1> that he and I have misunderstood each other with respect to the Per Centage. – When conversing with Mr Carpmeal upon the subject of terms I had reference exclusively to the amount to which I might expect to force the returns of those who may take Licenses and upon which I considered I should be entitled to receive 15 Pr Cent whilst I now perceive that Mr Carpmeal was reckoning upon 15 Pr Cent being payable upon and as part of the 30 Per Cent as shewn in the Draft agreement; – this being the case I am under the necessity of returning the Draft with an expression of my most sincere regret that at the occurrence of this misunderstanding by which any portion of your valuable time or attention has been uselessly occupied, trusting however you will do me the justice to believe it has arisen entirely from the misconception above alluded to and not from any desire to deviate from what I conceived to be the meaning of Mr Carpmeal* but in which it is now manifest I was mistaken –

Pardon me for further encroaching by briefly enumerating some of the responsibilities which at first induced me to consider the Per Centage contemplated by me as no more than a reasonable compensation: – First A considerable effort would have to be made to induce parties to enter upon it – perhaps in no case could this be effected without a sacrifice on my part as relates to the interest to be derived under my own Patents. <2> –

Upon me would devolve the onus of seeing the Calotype work’d well, for which purpose I must necessarily keep competent assistants whose services can only be retain’d at a high salary, and a portion of whose time would be exclusively occupied in instructing others in the mode of working and occasionally visiting country establishments to make those who may be working it still more efficient. The outlay which would devolve upon me in advertising and otherwise promoting forcing a trade. – Time and cost in keeping accounts – Ditto in Corresponding with applicants and others with many other items; for all of which supposing the returns reached the required amount I should receive according to what I had reckoned the Per Centage about £250 pr annm but at 4½Pr Cent only £75 with the possibility of my being placed in a disadvantageous position in the event of my being unsuccessful in bringing the returns of Per Centage payable for the use of the patent to £500 pr annm –

Although I fear it may be useless to anticipate with so great a difference in the terms an easy adjustment I shall yet be happy to take a License for myself subject to the payment of the 30 Pr Cent – and this would enable me to form a better opinion of what can be done meanwhile I will (if so sanctioned) [illegible deletion] make an effort when opportunity offers to induce parties to take a License upon same terms subject to your approval upon their names being handed to you or to your Solicitor and as in this case I should have nothing more to do in connection with the Calotype business and the parties taking a License I should consider myself amply paid by the smallest amount of per Centage you may please to name –

Waiting the honor of your reply I am Sir Your mo Ob Servt
Richd Beard


* Permit me to say in further confirmation of the further statement to which this work refers I had mentioned the terms as understood by me to my Solicitor Chas Fiddey Esq <3> 3 Inner Temple as well as to my confidential assistants Mr Wilkinson and Mr Goddard- <4>

I had prepared this letter on Saturday but unfortunately was not in time to save that nights mail –


H F Talbot Esqre &c &c


1. A misspelling of William Carpmael (1804–1867), patent agent & engineer, London.

2. Beard held patents for the daguerreotype process in England, Wales and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

3. Charles Fiddey, attorney, 3 Paper buildings, Temple, listed in Kelley's Post Office London Directory for 1843.

4. John Frederick Goddard (1797–1866), lecturer & photographer.