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Document number: 143
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: PALEY James
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 12th February 2012


As your Messenger did not wait for an answer I purposed deferring it until I visited you tomorrow morg however on second thought I considered you might wish to have an answer tonight

I feel some delicacy in mentioning a Sum for my contribution – The calls upon my purse in various ways are very considerable and my means small, it is but little that I can do in these cases, at the same time being very sensible of the importance of such an object I wd willingly contribute such a sum as might evidence my interest in the case and be in some measure consonant to my circumstance I wd then mention, on such a very important occasion, five pounds

I much regret that the Scarlet Fever has prevented me calling upon you as it wd have given me much pleasure to have acted as you Messenger in conveying your wish to the several persons in the Parish

I purpose calling upon you to morrow morning and shall be happy to receive an instruction & relieve you from any trouble on the occasion –

I wd beg to mention for your consideration but probably Mr Awdry has mention the same – that it appears from a clause in the Black Act (10 G:2.) <1> that there is a reward of 50£ for the apprehension of any person setting fire to Hay Ricks &c to be paid by the Sheriff – The clause is a little ambiguous – whether it may apply to the case I have not experience enough to judge – It runs thus –

“If any Person shall apprehend, or cause to be convicted, any offender, and shall be killed or wounded so as to lose an Eye or the use of a limb in endeavoring to apprehend him; on proof thereof made at the Sessions and or Certificate thereof from thence he shall be entitled to the Sum of 50£, to be paid by the Sheriff in Thirty Days the same to be repaid to him out of the Treasury”

If the above clause do [sic] apply to the present case, it might still be advisable to offer an additional Reward in order the manifest that no atrocious act of any kind will go unnoticed by those who have influence in the Parish –

I am your much obliged obt Hnb St
James Paley


1. Black Act 10 G:2 constituted by George I against the Waltham deer stealers, who blackened their faces for disguise, and, under the name of Blacks, appeared in Epping Forest. The Act was repealed in 1827. From the content of this letter it sounds as though the act was still in force, and therefore that the letter must be prior to the repeal of the act.

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