18 Feby 1836
I am directed by the Board of Guardians to ascertain upon what terms you are disposed to sell the Lacock Asylum to the Union – It is the intention of the Board to appropriate this Building to the use of Children only under the Superintendence of a Governor and his Wife who would be competent to act as School Master & Mistress – I am desired also to ask if you are inclined to part with the old Building formerly used as a Workhouse, in case it should be necessary to extend the present Asylum – The land upon which the new Building is erected is about ¼ of an acre. The cost of the Asylum and Governors House exclusive of fixtures &c was £617·15·0 – The old Workhouse is rented at £8·1·0 pr Acre: I do not think the Guardians could purchase the new Asylum for the remainder of the lease for 99 Years granted by you to Messrs Awdry & Harman, <2> but must either purchase the Property absolutely, or rent it upon Lease at an Annual Sum – As you (together with Messrs Awdry & Harman) have made yourself responsible for the payment of the £700 borrowed for building & fitting up the Asylum &c I should think it most to your interest to sell absolutely, and discharge this £700. at once, reserving the remainder for the Sale of the Land given up by you. When you have considered the subject I should feel obliged by your reply – which the Board would be glad to receive previous to the 26th Inst
I am Dear Sir
Your obliged & Obed Servt
W. H. F. Talbot Esq
31 Sackville Street
1. Chippenham, Wiltshire: largest town near Lacock, 3 miles N.
2. Probably Ezekiel Harman.
3. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.