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Document number: 916
Date: 02 Mar 1821
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: AWDRY William Henry
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA21-10
Last updated: 29th January 2012

Chippenham <1>
2d March

Dear Sir /

I beg to acknowledge the rect of your Letter of the 27th Ult enclosing one from Mr King <2> to you

I am glad to observe that your opinion is not altered respecting the essential points which were arranged between Mr Grosett <3> & myself & particularly so, as I am quite confident that he would not take the Abbey to be liable to what the Law might consider as Tenants Repairs When I made Proposals to him upon this subject, he at once declined being a Tenant on such conditions, because he considered it impossible to calculate what might come under that description in such an ancient & extensive premises at the same time I think you have every reasonable prospect that he will (for his own comfort & convenience) keep the interior of the House in good repair He has a large family & Establishment & keeps a great deal of Company under these circumstances, I submit for your consideration, whether it is likely (with a lease of Eight years) he should neglect to keep windows & doors &c in a tenantable state of repair, & with regard to Fixtures, as he covenants to replace every thing as it was, before they were put up, if you should decline to take them I really think nothing can be less objectionable than this part of the Conditions

I consider it a very essential point that you have only to keep the Walls & Roof of the House in repair there are many other things, such as Garden Walls & Paling, Fish Ponds, Gates &c which are continually wanting repairs & wch Mr G for his own convenience must do as they may happen to want, but he does not like to be obliged to rebuild an extensive Wall &c should such a Circumstance become necessary during his Lease at the same time, you are equally released from the necessity of doing so, by the proposed covenants of the Lease, & every expence of this kind, will, of course depend upon your own views as to future arrangements

With respect to Game, I entirely agree in opinion with Mr King, I see at once the force of his argument, at the same time I hope to get over the difficulty without entering into any Engagement, I have little doubt, but that the Tenants will readily do what they know to be your wishes upon that subject, & I will do my best to get this matter arranged satisfactorily I really am anxious that we should retain Mr Grosett as a Tenant, because I think it much for your Interest under present circumstances. you will remember I have no doubt, that, during our conference upon the subject in town, I was not at all disposed to recommend your making any pecuniary sacrifices to retain him but according to his last Proposals (with the exception of the Game) I have no hesitation in recommending you to accept them, as far preferable to shutting up the House.

I am at this time negociating about the insurance of the Property I have divided the Farms, so as to make 2000 on the whole & I find there will be a saving by seperating [sic] the Abbey & the Furniture, therefore I think of putting 3000 on the Walls & 1000 on the Furniture With respect to the Cottages I fear we shall not be able to get them insured under a heavy premium, on account of the materials of some part of them & therefore I think it hardly worth while to insure them at all but I have proposed 400 on the Red Lion Inn as that is a valuable House

I am Dear Sir Yr obliged & obed Sert
W. H. Awdry

W. H. F. Talbot Esqr
Trinity College


1. Chippenham, Wiltshire: largest town near Lacock, 3 miles N.

2. Of William Read King & Son, solicitors, London.

3. John Rock Grosett (1783-1866), MP; Jamaican Parliament; occupant of Lacock Abbey until summer 1827.

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