Finmere at the Huntington: 1825-1829


On the receipt of your Graces letter respecting the Warren Farm I lost no time in stating to Mr Burman the contents of it and am daily expecting his answer.


I am glad to say that I have just received a note from Mr Burman to say that he will be here on Wednesday or Thursday next to determine on the Warren farm, from which I conclude he means to take it.

I was at Finmere yesterday and am sorry to say found young Taylor there just come from Gosfield very unwell so much that I am fearful it will be long before he will be enabled to go to Wotton. He appears to be labouring under such a heavy disposition of spirits, that he could hardly speak to me, and I am half afraid there is something hereditary in the affection, as it brings his Mothers only Brother to my recollection.


Willm Taylor has not called upon me to settle his accompts at Gosfield as He agreed to do I have applied to Mr Parrott on the subject who states that He is returned to Finmere & in a state that He very much regrets I have written to Mr Parrott requesting him to direct his Father to write to me describing how or in what way he is affected & what He knows of his Sons concerns at Gosfield about which I am more than anxious.


Stowe 16 Septr 1825

My Lord Duke

Mr Burman came to Finmere yesterday, as appointed, and has finally agreed to take the Warren Farm on the terms proposed from the 29 th Inst when the live stock will be cleared thereupon and a valuation taken of the Plowings, Sowings, and other Acts of Husbandry to be paid for by him. A reservation is of course made for the use of the Barns & yards for thrashing out the corn and spending [sic] the Hay & Straw, the incoming tenant to be supplied with a part of each for the keep of the Horses and Sheep it will be necessary for him to winter in the premises, on paying a valuation price for the same.

Mr Burman would have been glad to have had the Horses Sheep & Implements of Husbandry, but in consequence of a letter received from Mr Baker I told him your Grace required them at Avington.

The Duke of Grafton[1] sent to me on Sunday last by his Huntsman to enquire whether your Grace had any objections to his hunting in your Woods, and [I] said he should desist from doing it until I could obtain an answer.

I am
My Lord Duke
Your Graces
Most faithful & obedient Servant

Geo Parrott

I am glad to say that W Taylor is better than when I wrote to Mr Ledbrooke and will I hope be able to go to Wotton next week.


Porter my Finmere keeper swears the Peace against Brewster the Tingewick Poacher for swearing that he will kill him. I & Mr Palmer issue a warrant to apprehend him.


I determine to put all the Game here, Hillesden and Finmere under the contract and chief command of Cobden who does his duty honestly by me. He makes a proposition by which the Rabbits will pay for their own destruction. At present I am paying at the rate of a shilling a head for every rabbit I kill.


My poor Gamekeeper Cobden is very ill.


Brickwell calls upon me as Mr Hall’s agent to tender me the purchase of the remainder of the Finmere property. This is very tempting. But where is the money?


Captain Hall came today and brought Brickwell, to talk over the Finmere Estate purchase. I said that probably the better way would be for Brickwell and Parrott to meet and see if they could agree the value of the land as between A and B, and that when that was done Mr Hall and I might discuss the question of any fancy price as I was quite ready to admit that I liked the estate, being in the midst of mine was of greater value to me than anyone else. We soon found however that the Surveyors could not come within £3000 of each other. I then offered to give Brickwell’s price without any fancy price being fixed upon it.


Captain Hall has left me having come to no resolution about the Finmere purchase. Indeed the difference between the two Surveyors is too great for Capt Hall who is a third man, to acquiesce in on behalf of his Father. But he is very fair and says he has no objection whatever to let the Estate be looked over by a person who is ignorant of what has been the valuation of either party. Budd shall look over it. But I feel convinced he will not fix so large a Sum as I have offered.


Mr Budd went over Hall’s Patch at Finmere, and amply confirms Parrott’s previous value. This upon his return to London to see Hall and tell him that I cannot treat with him on his valuation. Q. can he let it to me?


In the evening I drive through Buckingham and Maids Moreton. My Ammunition, Baggage and Mariners leave this place on Wednesday. Captain Hall writes a letter full of regrets at the difference of opinions which exists respecting Finmere and which he considers too great to be compromised. The Estate will therefore be duly sold by Auction. We shall then see whether Brickwell’s valuation be or be not correct.


Hall has kept his word and this evening I received the printed particulars of Finmere to be sold at Auction “sometime in August.” This hurrying to catch me before I go abroad. This will make no alteration to my plans, and I have little doubt of having the estate.


Buckingham March 18th 1832

My Lord Duke

Agreeably to your wishes, I have distributed to the under-mentioned Parishes the Bacon, and in return have been charged to convey to your Grace the sincere and grateful thanks of their poor inhabitants for so accepting a present. Owing to the increase and more account of, the population since last year, I have exceeded by a few pounds, as will appear on the other side, the quantity given away before, but as by so doing, I have been enabled to give general satisfaction to the poor. I trust your Grace will not disapprove of the exertion. The Bacon I am happy to add, has proved of excellent quality and even superior to last years.

I have the Honor to be
My Lord Duke
very faithfully yours

Wm Andrews





Stowe including the out Parishioners at Silverstone & Chackmore








Hillesden including our Parishioners at Preston [&] Gawcott




Astwell & Falcott




Finmere including out Parishioners at Tingewick








Radcliffe including our Parishioners Aylesbury Chackmore [&] Buckingham












430 Families
1658 Persons supplied
1747 lbs of Bacon being 15 Cwt 67 lbs.

[1]   George Henry, 4th Duke of Grafton (1760-1844). MP and a noted sportsman.