June 10th 1845.
I have no objections at all to your knowing the terms arranged with Ld Methuens <1> agent – but I think you should derive the information fm Lord Methuen rather than fm me – indeed without communicating with Mr Bailey <2> I do not feel at liberty to mention the amount – rest assured however that it was ample –
I trust you will before we go into committee consider and accept the proposal I made thro’ Mr King <3> – that proposal you must please to consider as made formally and that in the event which I trust may not arise of our having to meet you in the House of Lords as an opponent we must refer to that offer as showing the Company’s <4> desire to deal fairly and liberally – this is the more necessary after the most unjust & unfounded aspertions cast upon railway companys & the Great Western even by name –
As I understand then you have even since my offer expressed some anxiety as to the possible deterioration in value of Laycock Abbey an event which I consider impossible – I have no objection to change my offer in this way – that Mr Bailey shall deliver the amount of purchase money and compensation to be paid to you in respect of your land & severance on the same principle as he agreed to for Lord Methuen – and that he should also determine whether Laycock Abbey will be diminished in value in a marketable or rentable point of view – and to what amount and that the company should pay double this last amount in addition to the amount awarded in respect of the land & severance <5>
This you must consider as the last and highest offer of the Company and one to which they must be allowed to refer if accused of not properly treating the claims of Landowners
Yours very Truly
I K BrunelH Fox Talbot. Esq
1. Paul Methuen, Baron Methuen (1779–1849), MP. Brunel’s line for the Wiltshire, Somerset and Weymouth railway [a branch of the Great Western] ran across both Lord Methuen’s and WHFT’s land, and WHFT disputed the amount of compensation offered him by the GWR Company.
2. Charles Bailey (1815–1878), architect & archaeologist.
4. The Great Western Railway Company.
5. The cutting-off of one part of the Lacock estate from another by the railway line.