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The writer of these letters, E D'Oyly, has serious problems and these are graphically described. I have not found an E D'Oyly in the Stanley area although there are possibly a couple of entries for an Edward D'Oyly from Wakefield on the LDS site. As I think the Stanley estate mentioned in the letter is possibly located to the East of Wakefield, there is an open cast mine to the south of village of Stanley, I feel confident this may be related. In the second letter he suggests that if the Stanley estate is sold that the coal deposits are retained and sold separately.
The letters are addressed to Colvard and Hanby Solicitors. A Colvard is shown in the 1791 Universal British Directory as being an attorney in Wakefield. In the second letter a Mrs Yeomans is mentioned, a Yeamans is shown in the same directory as a Milliner.
If you can help me with any of the details please contact me and I will add them to this page.
This is the front of the letters, double click to enlarge.
The spelling is as per the letter. Note the arcane use of the f style s where there is a double ss as in lofs. I cannot replicate this on the computer.
Difficult words have been scanned and the image placed in the letter. Click to enlarge the thumbnail.
This is letter number one, dated April 16 1815.
My dear sir
Having been hitherto kept alive by the prospect of borrowing a few hundreds, your last, as you may naturally suppose, has thrown a gloom over my view which all my ingenuity does not enable me to clear away. Offering my Swale farm, which might fetch 10000 – Mifs Fountain taking 5000 – yourselves 5000, -- still, as you would be – 5000. I would never get at liberty so there would not be a title to the estates, from Mr Waite’s opinion, if you get 9999£, still my estates are unsaleable, similar to the Stanley property. In which way am I to act, I really am at great lofs to know – to be obliged to sell either of 3 lots here; My house & 84 A., the Swale Farm or the Breckenbrough – the former of which I value at 12000 the 2nd at 10000, and the 3rd at 7000, which to select as the best, without detriment to the remainder is comparatively above my skill – I noted the necefsity of selling something, and the certainty of disposing of the Stanley with lefs risk, as it was no ways attached to any other property and its of course the object most desirable to give up. As that however is now quite out of the question, we must now look forward to some other plan. And what that can be, I know not! In consequence of the security I felt that we should get the thousand pounds, and the prefacing demands that I was obliged to comply with, caused me to draw on Paxton & Co for 200 – 30*£ of which, being drawn 17 Feb of a note be due tomorrow, (say Thursday 20th three days grace) therefore if you cannot manage by some means, say thro’ Mr Charlesworth, to send 30£ by tomorrows post, it will be returned, and I perhaps am unable by any other means to take it up!!
Cannot you buy the Stanley estate off me for 1000 or 1500 with equity on redemption, afsisted by my bond for the like sum, till at least I could with reasonably prospect of success sell either the whole or part of this place – I do not feel any hesitation in selling; but obliged, and that perhaps to serious lofs, without adding any benefit or security to you Gentm is not what either of you can possibly desire. I would be content to take it by installments of 3 or 400 as might be most convenient. I fear being driven to market and obliged to sell at a lofs of perhaps 3, 4, or 5000 – I think I underwrote my property, but if absolutely forced upon a doubtless all seize the advantage and “the weakest must go to the wall”.
To you my dear sir, as I have too frequently have said, fly for relief in this my final – I should be quite shocked to ask, any afsistance that that would be inconsistent with your safety to grant or that I could pofsibly suppose would be incompensatable – but as necessity has no law and you have known me so long I will not add more by way of continuation, but subscribe myself.
most truly yours
April 16 1815
This is letter number two, dated May 15 1815.
Monday May 15 1815
I cannot say that the recd of your letter was agreeable, considering the situation I am in & as I am unable to see a road, at present that appears likely to enable me to extricate myself of necefsity I feel deprefsed. I certainly must disclaim any knowledge of Mr Charlesworth having said to me that “he should pay no rent at May day” if he did, I certainly did not understand him so, & moreover I have not my recollection that he did say so, or anything like it, but he might certainly!!
Altho’ I recd yours, respecting the answer from Mr Higgins, yet trusting to your next as being perhaps more congenial to my feelings, I failed to make any reply. I am only sorry, that he could not comply, from the dim necefsity that at present binds me: you knew my sentiments on the subject & perhaps will believe me, that his want of favour to assist me would have sat easier, if not complied with the wish to relinquish his trust, when it appears most wanting. Believe me, however necefsary you Gentm may be to me & mine, I shall with great pleasure, on your account change the trustees & set you at rest thereby. I mentioned the situation I was in to a neighbour and asked him whether I had favour to appoint fresh trustees he answered that not knowing how the deed was drawn he could not say – Of course you can tell me.
In one of my former letters I requested you to say to a lady who succeeded Mrs Yeomans, & who had a bill against Mrs D for goods to the amount of £14:18:0, that she should be paid and requesting time She however wrote saying that she has drawn at 14 days: her present name is Frances Masterman and her letter is dated May 4. Westgate, as I have not the means I must decline it; but still you can profefsionally call & request a respite –
Altho’ you are kind enough to give me the most early notice in your favour, yet by not riding to the park on Saturday, and the persons with who my letters were left, being abroad the whole of the yesterday, I have only just got them, together with one from Paxton & Co exprefsing their sorrow in not being able to comply, unless they receive afsetts – Thus you see I am in hot water indeed, & I do not know my way to escape but by the sale of Stanley, say by auction, can not that be done with safety? If not I must inevitably go to jail for I will not consent to increase the injury, I have already thoughtlefsy done, to my young ones, by selling my property at half its value – It would be more advisable to take 2000 and reserve the coal then dispose of it; as also to sell any part of this place at a great depreciation of price, or injury to the remainder by an improper severance. Indeed whatever plan I may pursue with respect to this place, requires consideration and time to effect a sale to the best advantage for whether it would sell in one, two or three lots, best, requires thought, as – In the interim however I may be swallowed up – I only say six months longer -- For during this summer I shall most assuredly try the whole or parts of the place – but till that can take place with any creditable effect, I should be able to “pay something in the pound” – I cannot help adding that with your character, credit & means I feel satisfied you could help me thro’ this present difficulty not exceeding one hundred pounds. Would not it be possible to raise £2000 by way of annuity, redeemable, on the Stanley estate?
I mentioned that I had paid in all 53£ due as stated here
Masterman 22 due 13 Inst
Pearson 10 do do
Hurst 11 do 18 do
Etridge 10 do 24 do
Consequently expect a visit, which without your aid, with all my fortitude, I shall sink under – I cannot say more at present but that I remain et et ED’oyly