25 July 1857
My friend Mr Bruce has sent me a box of ore, and requests me to communicate with you concerning its commercial value.
I have had the ore roughly analysed by the chemist attached to these works, and I send you a copy of his report, enclosed.
I wish the report had been more favourable. Indeed as it is, it is probable that this ore would be purchased by many works both in Staffordshire & Monmouthshire, but at Dowlais I do not find it ecconomical <sic> to use any but the very best ones, such, for example, as those from Westmoreland & the Forest of Dean. I have even left off using the Cornish ore, which is superior to that from Wiltshire.
No doubt for Kentledge (ships ballast) this ore might be worked with advantage, but we find that its iron requires an unusual and unproductive amount of labour in the ‘paddling’ process before it can be converted into malleable iron.
I have already tried about 300 Tons of Wiltshire ore, supplied by a Mr Hart, and therefore do not draw my conclusion without some experience.
As Ore has been found in Wiltshire in large quantities, and will no doubt,
ton for some purpose or other be smelted, the question of its commercial value is probably an important one to a Wiltshire landowner Should this be your case I can only say that it will give me great pleasure to receive you here and to shew you at your leisure all that has been done or that we know upon this or any other subject connected with the manufacture of iron.
yr obt svt
Geo. T. Clark
H.F. Talbot Esq