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Document number: 1549
Date: 31 Mar 1827
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: AWDRY William Henry
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 16th August 2015

Chippenham <1>
31st March 1827

Dear Sir /

I have received a Letter from Dr Nicholas <2> relative to the repair of the Tythe Barn at Fisherton<3> - a copy of which I annex - about two years ago I looked at the Premises & it certainly appeared to me, that it would be advantageous to the parsonage, if the Barn was to be rebuilt upon a smaller scale - The Arrangemt which I beg to submit for your consideration is, that a respectable Surveyor should (at the expence of Dr Nicholas) give a Plan of a proper Barn for the Tythes of the Parish & that it may be built agreeable to such Plan, if Dr Nicholas prefers it to repairing the old one -

I have seen Mr Bruges <4> respecting the purchase of Lot 4 - & he agrees to take it upon being allowed the value of the Life - wch can be done by a Table for calculating Annuities (the Age is 70) - Will you be so good as to mention this when you see Mr King<5>, as he can then arrange the settlement with Mr Bruges' Solicitor & the remainder of the Money will be paid - the other Purchasers are, I believe, all ready with their Money as soon as the Deeds are signed -

Mr Montagu's Agent has sent me a message, requesting that some Person may be named on your part, to meet Mr Montagu's Surveyor & agree upon the Value of the Lands proposed to be exchanged - would you wish that I should name Mr Darley? <6> -

I had a Letter from Mr Grosett <7> a few days ago, desiring your address & I referr'd him to Sackville St <8> - I hope it may be some Proposal respectg the remainder of his Lease -

I have just completed the Account of 1826 & the Balance thereon viz 111 1 3- will be paid to Messrs Hammersleys <9> next Week. - also 70- received on Account of the Auction -

I am Dear Sir Yr Obliged Hble Sert
W. H. Awdry

Since writing the above Mr Montagu's Agent has called & states that it will be a great convenience to them to have the value of the Lands given in by the end of next Week, to enable them to insert it in their accounts -

W. H. F. Talbot Esq
31 Sackville Street
No 1 Brunswick Terrace <10>

[copy of letter from the Rev J. Nicholas to W H Awdry]


17 Beaufort Buildings
15 March 1827

Dr Sir /

I think I sometime ago mentioned to you my intention of taking down the Barn at Fisherton, wch has been a long time in a tottering state, and the late heavy Gales have made it worse - it is my wish to put it in a proper state of repair during my life time - the present one is preposterously large for the Tythes of 309 acres & 10 acres of Glebe (both Arable & Pasture included) & takes up by far too much of the Yard - A smaller one would answer every purpose & the present one is a great desight <11> to the House - Would it not therefore be better for my Successor that I should build another of proper dimensions, in preference to repairing the present one, but I should not choose to do it without Mr Talbots sanction - you will oblige me by letting me hear from you on the subject as soon as possible, as I purpose being in Sarum <12> in about a fortnight, if my health will allow of my going, when something must be arranged - Should you come to Bath I should be most happy to see you & talk to you on the subject, as the present state of the Barn is very disadvantageous to the House, This of course can be of no object to me, but of great consequence to those who come after me -

I am &c &c
J. Nicholas


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

2. The Rev Dr John Nicholas (1764-1836), Rector of Fisherton Anger and Vicar of Westport, Wiltshire.

3. Fisherton Anger, Salisbury, Wiltshire. The barn was a repository for the tithe (tenth) part of agricultural produce granted to the Rector. Most had been commuted for a monetary payment by this time, but the fact that a tithe barn was called for means that the tithes were still being paid in kind. WHFT had inherited the advowson (the right to present a new Rector to St Clement's Church) from his father, Davenport Talbot, and held it until 1849. The new Rector would enjoy the income and assets of the living, including the Rector's house.St Clement's was demolished in 1852 and parts of it were incorporated into the new St Paul's Church.

4. Thomas Bruges of Seend (d. 1835); JP, Melksham banker, landowner, surveyor and mathematician. For reasons yet to be determined, in his will Thomas bequeathed a sum of money to Mary Anna Fry (b 1793) spinster sister of the photographic pioneer Peter Wickens Fry (1795-1860). [See Doc. No: 01507].

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

6. John Darley, architect & surveyor, Chippenham.

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

8. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.

9. Hammersley & Company, bankers, London.

10. Readdressed in another hand.

11. Eyesore.

12. Ancient name for Salisbury, Wiltshire.

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