June 17th 1825
Since I had the pleasure of seeing you last I have had the Melksham <2> Property measured & valued the Particulars of which are on the other side As this Property is quite unconnected with the Lacock Estates & for the next 8 or 10 years The Wood will bring in scarcely any Rent, I certainly recommend its being sold, if a proper price can be obtained for it which I have very little doubt of, from its contiguity to another Property in Melksham If you should continue of the same opinion, I will (after hearing from you again) give the necessary Directions about an Auction & of course not allow it to be sold for less than the Valuation
I have next to submit for your approbation a Proposal for granting Leases to three persons who rent Cottages at present in a very delapidated state & who will, in consideration of such Leases, repair them now & during the term of 21 years you having only to find a little rough Timber for the purpose I consider the Proposal very advantageous & therefore beg to recommend it I am convinced I should not have obtained such conditions, but for the desire of the present Tenants to avoid the inconvenience of removing If you should approve it, I will send the particulars to Mr King <3>. I have told the Tenants, they must pay for the Leases, wch they are willing to do if there is only one for each & that they should be kept by me, in trust, for both Parties, wch was done when those (of a similar nature) were granted on your coming of Age
I beg to advise a further remittance of £100 to Messrs Hammerslys <4> & remain
Dear Sir/ Yr obliged & obedt Sert
W. H. Awdry
Valuation and Calculation of the Value in Fee of the undermentioned Property belonging to William Henry Fox Talbot Esqre situate in the Parish of Melksham in the County of Wilts
|A R P <5>|
|Cloves Wood in hand. The underwood is of about two Years growth. The Timber, and Timber like Trees, Saplings and Tellers to be taken to at a Valuation. This Wood contains by admeasurement||20..2..24|
|Blackmore Coppice Arable laid down with Clover and Ryegrass, in the occupation of Messrs C & W Beaven. This Wood was grubbed about the Year 1807 or 1808 and has been in tillage ever since ||5..3..30|
|A piece of Arable Land alloted [sic] to Mr Talbot by the Commissioners of the Melksham Common Enclosure, now planted to Potatoes, and in the Occupation of Messrs C & W Beaven ||1..1..6|
|Three Cottage tenements adjoining each other the West Cottage built with Ashler [sic], the other two with Brick foundations, framed timber sides and plastered, covered with Thatch: this including the Gardens is held for the life of Mary Hatton about 45 Years of Age. The floors, doors, windows, and thatching of the Houses require considerable repairs and the Brick Walls is [sic] in many parts defective ||..1 ..7|
The Value in Fee of the above lands and the reversionary Interest in the three Cottages and Gardens the Land Tax being purchased, exclusive of the Timber and Timber like Trees, Saplings and Tellers (which are to be taken to at a Valuation as low as one Shilling each) is seven hundred and ninety one Pounds and ten Shillings.
John Darley <6>
Architect Land Agent and Surveyor
W. H. Fox Talbot Esq
1. Chippenham, Wiltshire: largest town near Lacock, 3 miles N.
2. Melksham, Wiltshire: market town near Lacock, 2 miles S.
3. Of William Read King & Son, solicitors, London.
4. Hammersley & Company, bankers, London.
5. A R P: for acres, rods, perches. The rod as a survey measure was standardized by In 1607, Edmund Gunter standardised the English rod as Ό of a 66 ft (20 meter) chain, ie, 16.5 ft (5 m). The perch (based on an old Roman measure, and from the French for a rod) was less standardised, but a square perch was usually a square rod.
6. John Darley (1786-1867), architect & surveyor, Chippenham.