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Document number: 4
Date: Fri 1861
Dating: before 1 Aug 1861 - see Doc no 08439
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BLOMFIELD Arthur
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 25th August 2010

Friday Morg<2>

My dear Sir.

I was purposing to call the other day at the Abbey – but hearing that you were absent, my visit was stayed – The object of it was to tell you that at our School Committee Meeting last week – after the auditing The years Accts which were in a satisfactory state. a conversation arose as to the state of the Parish Church – And inasmuch as more accommodation is required – to meet the demand for seats. & as the sittings free & [illegible] & the flooring in a great part of the Church are in a very dilapidated state it was unanimously agreed that before any thing was done. The first step, & the safest – was to have the opinion of an Architect –

Accordingly they commissioned me to procure an Architect. <2> & I am expecting him to morrow – to be at the Church by 3 o’clock in the Aftn

– For some time there has been a strong feeling – among all classes in the Parish that the Church internally required to be put in a better condition. & in procuring a plan & estimate for the whole. Aid can be obtained fm Ch. Building Socy which wd lighten the expense & which cd not be obtained if done piecemeal.

– Those present at the School Meeting, Sir J W Awdry Capt Gladstone Mr Caldwell Mr Merewether, & Mr J H Awdry, <3> hope your opinion will coincide with theirs – in the wisdom of this first step of calling in the aid of an Architect –

Had I not been informed of yr absence, I shd have communicated with you on this matter earlier – & the speedy arrival of the Architect is owing to the absence from their homes next week of some of the Squires.

Trusting that you will excuse this hasty notice for the reasons assigned – & that you will not disapprove of the preliminary step.

Believe me – dear Sir yrs very sincerely

Arthur Blomfield

To H. F. Talbot Esq


1. On 1 August 1861, Awdry complained to WHFT that 'the Church Restoration progresses but slowly' - see Doc. No: 08439. The official re-opening of the church took plate on 10 December 1861- see Doc. No: 08475.

2. See Doc. No: 00005.

3. Sir John Wither Awdry (1795–1878), JP & Chief Justice, Bombay Supreme Court; Captain John Neilson Gladstone (1807–1863), MP; Henry Berney Caldwell (b. 1805), magistrate; possibly Henry Alworth Merewether, snr (1780–1864), author, barrister, Town Clerk of London & Sergeant-at-Law; J H Awdry, solicitor, Chippenham.

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