Finmere at the Huntington: 1700-1799


Stowe Augst 28 1753


Upon my arrival here from Worcestershire where I have been for some time, my brother informed me by letter that the treaty betwixt you and him concerning the purchase of Finmere was at an end & that the whole difference between you was four hundred pounds, the Dotrills[1] not being valued. I should have thought that this difference might have been admitted of an accommodation betwixt you, and I am very unwilling, as it lyes so near me, that it should not be purchased by some of the family. I have therefore only to desire the favour of you to allow me two or three weeks just to try to accommodate my matters so as to settle things betwixt you & me & that you will please be so good as to let me know what you shall insist upon.


Stowe Septembr 6 1753


I cannot defer returning you my best thanks for the very obliging & reasonable proposition which you have been so good as to make me with regard to the payment of purchase Mony [sic] but as I shall be under no sort of difficulty in raising the Mony if we agree, you may depend upon having it all at any time you shall think fit to name. What I meant by desiring a little time to accommodate matters so as to settle things betwixt us was with regard to the purchase of another Estate in Busks for which I had agreed with a view to my Brothers purchasing Finmere and likewise with regard to the application of some of the Lord Cobhams trust money. As I am now at ease in relation to these matters, I should have ventured by this Poste to have closed with you in a manner I hinted in my letter by meeting you half way, two hundred pounds not being an object worth my attention but as you do not think of making the least abatement I will avail my self of the liberty you are pleased to give me of a little further consideration & shall certainly give you my final answer both with regard to the purchase of the Estate & of its Timber in a fortnight at furthest, so that in effect no delay will arise, as I have not as yet made the least enquiry concerning the value of the Timber. I understand that all the Dottrils & that the Hedges Woods &c are to be sold in the state they are now in. When the Purchase is to commence Landlord you have not settled whether at this Mich or not till Lady Day next & upon that payt of the purchase Mony will depend. As to your tithe you best know whether a fine will be necessary if it shall that is usually at the expence of the seller, the which of the woods is what I have the greatest objection to as I find much of the tenants use by I have nothing to do to humble you with any of my opinions when I ought to thank you and assure you that I am with great esteem.


As you have already had a good deal of trouble in the transaction of the Sale of your estate at Finmere, I wished very much to have been able to put on end to the whole with one word & in order to it directed to have all the timber valued Stick by Stick; the Valuer finished last night; from the account which had been given by you I did indeed imagine that I should have found some advantage in taking the timber at 1200£ which might have a little helped out the 8,800 for the whole; but I find my self so much disappointed in that expectation that I am on the other hand reduced to the necessity of having recourse to the other proposition made by you of leaving the consideration of the Timber to indifferent persons. You will I believe find upon enquiring that the agent you employed did not allow himself above a third of the time which had been taken by mine, besides the assistance of two persons to help him, in making the estimate. I think mine may be in a great measure depended upon & if you will please to appoint any person to go through a minute examination of it, should he think it unsatisfactory we may easily agree in some person to decide the whole difference. 8,800£, the sum demanded for the Estate I must agree to give including all the Stands and Pollards, by Pollards is always meant the trees lopd & topd. The Timber trees of oak, Elm & Ash to be valued as you propose or as I mention above, & the amount paid by me, I am now only further desirous that the tithe be looked into as soon as may be & the whole so for settled to enable me to pay the money, as I have a great part of it ready in India bonds, these may be deposited in the custody of any eminent Banker & assigned over to you at the price they shall clear on any fixed day & I the rents the of the Estate till such time as the purchase can be completed. In all events whether you approve of this proposition or not, I understand that everything will be left upon the premises precisely as they are at present; whenever I commence Landlord you may certainly keep your furniture there as long as the house shall be left standing. I am &c.


Mr Lydington


I desire that you will forthwith proceed to the valuation of the timber upon the Estate at Finmere inclusive of the pollards which his L[ordship] lately purchased of Mr Bacon & we will take care to satisfye you for your trouble & shall be obliged for setting this affair behind us & by you’ll be a expeditious as may be and send the valuation as soon as finished. We are your humble servant.


Edward Bacon
London Nov 19th 1754

Tom Smith will show you the trees.


Pall Mall Dec 18 1754


I received by Mondays Post the inclosed in return to my desire of the Particulars. The Poplar Lime and Birch should be deducted out of this valuation as they can never be deem’d Timber; but I suppose you want to see the Particular valuation of each tree & the number of trees which I will endeavour to procure at the same time, as Mr Lidington has gone through this on our joint order, I should hope we may abide by it or refer the final settlement to either of the other Persons you have named, especially as I add that I did most certainly understand at the time of the Purchase that I should have a very advantageous Bargain of the Timber which I am now to pay for the full, I waited yesterday upon you to inform you of these matters and have nothing to add but sincere assurances of real esteem with which I am your most obedient servt The particulars of the Timber, Bark &C. upon Mr Bacons estate at Finmere as follows:

The Oak timber in Barnards Wood




Do to the Bark of Ditto at 4s 6d per pound



Do to the Ash & Elm in Ditto




The Oak Timber in the home wood and middle wood




Do to the Bark of Ditto at Do in the pound




Do the Ash & Elm in Ditto




The Oak Timber in the Grounds




Do to the Bark Do at Do per pound



Do to the Ash, Elm, Poplar & Limes & Birch in Do








June 27 1754

To Mr Bacon

approbation of Lydington and Howley


When Mr Upton has finished his valuation you will you say be so good as to send it to me, after which I will have it examined & if we cannot adjust matters otherwise I approve of Mr Hardy Lord Bathhursts Steward asserted by Mr Lydington finally to decide between Mr Lens’s valuation and Kings. In the mean time allow me to pay you the nine hundred pounds which King admits the timber to be worth, and I accordingly send you a draught for that sum upon Mr Lampbill. I should likewise begin to know whether a middle way between nine hundred pounds & twelve could settle the matter to your satisfaction without further trouble, in that case I will give you my answer in a week, if not as there is at present little or know probability of my giving the twelve, I should be obliged to you, if you would pledge to send me a sketch of instructions to be given to the two persons agreed upon that I may get information concerning the methods practiced in sales of this kind so that no difficulty or objection may remain. I shall with pleasure comply with your desire that the old woman should continue in the House till Michs, & shall probably employ Jones, for all [?] in Compts to you & the Ladies I am Sir Yr most Obet & most Humle Sevt.

I was yesterday at Finmere where the great preparations were making for yr Sell. I enquired about the new stone you mention, the man told me there was only a few old steps & too Garden Gateways, I likewise found some leaden Garden ornaments intended for me which my people had reckon’d in their valuation of the House & (but of this you are a better judge than I and I shall do it as you please, I find a great part of the Avenue are limes.


March 10 1755


I am very willing to abide by the valuation Mr Lydington  has made, & when you reflect upon all that has pass’d betwixt us you will not I dare say insist upon my adding to it the poundage, which is due upon the cutting down & sale of the timber that I believe never been practiced in such an instance, at least when I sold my wood at Widmore upon a like valuation, I never so much as thought of that addition. Without entering at present into the precise intention of our employing Lydington, if you should determine contrary to my expectation not to settle this matter upon the footing he has left it, tho the difference is so trifling, now it may be referred to any gentleman to settle it betwixt us upon acquainting him with what has pass’d, & in whatever way it shall end, I am sure I shall have a much worse bargain of it than I expected, & you will please to consider that I have in all particulars paid to you the full & the alteration of the Stocks at present gives to you the very advantage, which you recognise from the addition of the 1st Kings valuation falls short of Lydingtons, & it never entered [?] his imagination then I was to pay the shilling in the pound. I am Sir.


[1] I.e. dottrel: a pollarded tree.
[2] The valuation is missing in both the memorandum and the copy.
[3] Bishop William Cleaver.
[4] George Grenville.
[5]  Parrott’s hand.
[6]  Address of letter in Holt’s hand.
[7] Buckinghamshire Militia.