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Manchester 1 Decr. 1849 My dear Sir, Your letter of the 20th reached me here where I am engaged in a Reference on behalf of the Lancashire & <Yorkshire> Railway Co – I am glad to hear a good account of Mrs Bird with yourself and family and I hope Master <Hornsby> will soon be restored to his wonted good health & <frolic>king habits. There is no great value of Property <unentailed> & Subject to the Payment of Col & Mrs Beaumonts Legacies. – There is only what remains of Wibsey, and <Blacken> Hall with two or three other small places – not altogether worth much more than 30,000£ But you know all the Estates purchased after Coll. Beaumonts death – or rather after the Settlement of 1827 are entailed Subject to a separate trust for the payment of Legacies. – Mr. Beaumont may I believe, on his Coming of Age disentail the Estate, but, to do so he must pay off all the Legacies under the wills of his Grand father and Grand Mother & his father including his Mothers Settlement which he would probably transfer I am not sure whether the Consent of the Trustees would or would not be necessary – I think not so for as regards disentailing <..> of the trustees for Legacies and Settlements already due and payable but the Legacies <& paymts> Secured under his father & Mothers Marriage Settlement and his fathers Will to his Mother & Mothers Sisters, he cannot pay them off till they are of age without the Consent of the Trustees. I have not heard anything about the Sale lately. Lord Albert <Davison> has been there once and Mr. Benbow his Trustee twice and I understand requestd to know the price asked for the whole Estate. – They are now engaged in Making a Valuation of the whole <Mansion>, Lands, Woods & Minerals – Mr. Hall has made his report of the latter – to enable them to ask a price, - I can assure you it is a great Mortification to me to hear people talking about the Sale of Estates that I had so much to do with & <tooke> so much pains to effect their Consolidation I purchased to the extent of 125000£ and Sold the <Fec....sse> Estates to the Extent of nearly 100,000£ - Bretton Hall and the original Bretton Estate has been with the Wentworth family since the Year 1387 when the first Mr. Wentworth tooke possession in right of his wife the daughter and heiress of Sir William Dransfield. I think it a Monstrous pity to sell such an Estate except under the most pressing necessity and that necessity I cannot discover. Besides the Mortgages on Bearl & Nafferton I cannot make out more than 300,000£ and with Mr. Beaumont’s Income provision may be made for a suitable Establishment and a <sinking> fund of 30 or 35000£ a year which as Mr. Beaumont is still young would soon set him free.
From the distinctive handwriting and the content of this letter there can be little doubt that it is from John Brackenridge. The reference to ‘Mrs Bird with yourself and family’ identifies Rev. C. Bird as the likely recipient.