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Letter from Taunton Aug 1851

This is a letter from a James Pitt to George Lane of Cirencester dated 20th Aug 1851.

James seems to have taken up a position with a Mr Sweet who was a solicitor in Taunton (from the 1861 Census).

Some nice detail and then, lend me a 1 until pay day.  There was a George Lane shown in Cirencester on the 1851 census but he is the master of the workhouse( Census).

This scan shows all the post marks on the letter.

taunfront.jpg (109682 bytes)

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 business. I cannot replicate this on the computer.

Two words are indecipherable, I have put scans of the words in the sentence.

My dear Sir

I am rather anxious to hear whether you are likely to come to an arrangement with Mr Joshua.

Mr Sweet informed me that most of the farms in the neighbourhood have been unlet at a reduction of 10 per cent in the former rental.

Mr Sweet's father who is a Clergyman resident near Wellington has an income derived from land about 12 hundred a year interests making some such reductions.

My situation is very comfortable and Mr Sweet has informed me that I suit them very well indeed but he wishes me to enter into a deed of covenant not to practice within 12 miles of Taunton which I have consented to do.

I have the whole of the Conveyancing to attend to, not a Draft is drawn by any one and my time is very fully occupied. With regard to the accounts I have offered to post the Books if they liked but I at once declined to have anything to do with the Ledger. They consented to my appointment it would be utterly impofsible to do both the conveyancing and the accounts besides the general buisnefs of the office of which I have a considerable share.

I find I shall not want more than 1 before my salary becomes due which if you can remit me in a day or two I shall feel obliged. I was being foolish I did not ask 100 again as Sweet has stated they would give that amount who suited them. I must now wait a year or two and then ask for an advance.

You understand that Wakefield is to have 10 this next rent day in part of his Bill this will leave a balance of 3 which I can pay to him when he may require it.

If you will not forget to remit me the pound in a post also you will confer a favour.  If I can I shall come and see you and the Dr at Xmas.

Yours very truly

James Pitt

20th Aug 1851

P.S. my Employers are most respectable People. W. Beadm married a Widow a Mrs Follett. Sir William Follett's brothers wife.

W Storer



I do not know the reason for the W Storer unless that was the return address. There is indeed a W Storer, Silversmith in Fore Street in the 1861 census.  It could be James Pitt's lodgings.

There is one Sir William Follett that I was able to find and that is Sir William Webb Follett who was both solicitor general and attorney-general under Sir Robert Peel ( 1911 Encyclopaedia).