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Document number: 5258
Date: 23 May 1845
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BRUNEL Isambard Kingdom
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA45-45
Last updated: 30th December 2012


May 23d 1845.


Dear Sir

I think you are wrong in considering that there is any new offer to negotiate on my part and consequently that it is late – when I last had the pleasure of communicating with you I said that I had no data whereon to proceed but that Mr Driver <1> or somebody on the part of the Company <2> shd look at the property. <3> You concurred in this & wrote to me suggesting that Mr Driver should meet your steward or land agent <4> on the spot. I requested Mr Driver to do so – his engagements prevented his doing so for a week or fortnight – the instant I heard of his return & before I had seen him or received his report I wrote to you <5> stating that I was now prepared –

Of course if Lord Brougham <6> intends to attack the bill in the House of Lords he will do so and an offer to negotiate may be considered by his Lordship as an aggravation – I will confess to you that I individually am only anxious to show you who were formerly a warm supporter <7> and most usefull friend to the Great Western Railway Company and to prove to your noble relative & neighbour Lord Lansdown[e] <8> who was also a supporter of the Gt West. Ry in its younger days that the Company are desirous of acting gratefully & liberally although they may be compelled to act contrary to your wishes in passing through your property. I held the same language

which it was certainly not meant to be. <9>

I shall of course be prepared to meet your agent but I anticipate very little result – if he knows & feels that he is acting for a party determined to oppose whatever may be the result.

I am dear Sir Yours very truly
I. K. Brunel


1. An Agent of the Great Western Railway Company.

2. The Great Western Railway Company.

3. Brunel’s line for the Wiltshire, Somerset and Weymouth railway, a branch of the Great Western, passed across WHFT’s land, and Talbot was disputing the amount of compensation offered by the GWR Company.

4. West Awdry (1807–1892), solicitor, Chippenham.

5. See Doc. No: 05255.

6. Henry Peter Brougham, Baron of Brougham & Voux (1778–1868), Lord Chancellor.

7. Talbot had been an active supporter of the original Great Western Railway bills, the first of which which passed the Commons in 1834 while he was an MP, but was defeated in the Lords, and the second, which was successful, in 1835. See Doc. No: 03151.

8. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863), MP, WHFT’s uncle.

9. Start of a new sheet, text does not run on: probably the text is missing a page.

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