July 9th 1822
I have been endeavoring to recollect the description of Papers which are deposited in the Tower of Lacock Abbey There are several Deeds of very ancient date, I think, chiefly, grants under the Great Seal of different Estates, & the
original Grant of the Abbey &c from the Lords of the Regency after the death of Henry the 8th <2> which is stated to be a confirmation of the Grant by Henry, but I believe the original Grant was never found When the late Sir Saml Whitcomb was at Lacock, the Deeds were arranged, after considerable expence & trouble & an Inventory taken, a Copy of which, I should think would be found at Mr Kings <3> A reference to that, would probably enable you to judge whether there is any thing that could be useful to Sir Richard Hoare <4> & if any thing is selected it would be easy for me to produce it, without distrusting the other Papers I take the liberty of suggesting this Plan, to prevent future expence & trouble, which I should fear might be the case if an Antiquarian was allowed to make a search among such a mass of old Papers The Keys of the Tower have always been kept in London, (I believe) by Captn Fielding <5>
I shall have much pleasure in conveying your Present to the two Clubs, which I understand w[ould]<6> be particularly acceptable at this time, in consequence of the very low state of their Funds
I am Dear Sir Yr Obliged & Obedt Sert
W. H. Awdry
W. H. F. Talbot Esq
31. Sackville Street
1. Chippenham, Wiltshire: largest town near Lacock, 3 miles N.
2. Of William Read King & Son, solicitors, London.
3. Sir Richard Colt Hoare, 2nd baronet (17581838), historian of Wiltshire. He published works including History of Modern Wiltshire, 18221844 (completed posthumously), Ancient History of North and South Wiltshire, 18121821.
4. Henry VIII, King of England (15091547).
5. Misspelling of Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (17801837), Royal Navy; WHFTs step-father.
6. Text torn away under seal.