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Jany. 19th 1796 Dear Skelton, I should have answered your letters sooner but as Mrs. Beaumont begged leave to produce the Young Lady in such a hurry, I had a number of letters to write, with respect to the disposing of the Estate at Cleckheaton, I should not imagine this to be a good time, for when any commodity of Life is so very dear and Money, or at least in town, is very scarce land would not fetch its value, You most certainly must be a better Judge in this matter than myself what is most advisable for us to take, there will necessarily be a great expense incurred by fencing in your Letter you are of an opinion it would be better to dispose of it, in that case, the most Money must be got, in the Valuation, the utmost price is 35 Years purchase, which appears to be not high rated, especially as it will be put up in Lots, people are apt to bid higher for small detachments. In a letter from Mr. Long to Mrs. Beaumont he says, I am sorry to say Mr. Skelton waited upon me wishing me to give up again, tho’ I had finally agreed upon & settled with him for my particulars & has laid out some Money in necessary preparations therefore I told him I would not think of doing nor would I consent to anything of the kind I thought it would be a Stigma upon my Character to be so unsteady, as I was in so much want of a situation he says he finds Stephen Green of Hoyland has been to request he might have five of them Closes (so that there will be but two remaining) which he will give the full rent for he being a man of property, & I will take the two remaining if you please, or there are two or three more in Hoyland that will take them at the full rent so that I hope you will not disappoint me of the situation, he likewise says you told him that Charles <Stringer> & Broadhead would not take the parts allotted them so that you could not dispose of that part . – I shall write to him. I think with his situation in business & having no capital to begin with too much land would be impolitic for him to undertake. I would not wish to oblige either <Stringer> or Broadhead to take the Land offered to them unless it was perfectly agreeable to them, I thought they would rather have been glad to have had more land allotted to them. I have no objections to Dame Stevensons Son having some thing given him for the Loss he has sustained, had the Dog been provoked to bite him, I wrote to Tweedale about the Dog. As the Cottons have a Lease upon the Estate, is it customary for the Landlord to pay for the repairs if so, they had better have the 40£ and do it themselves provided they do everything that the Mason and Carpenter mention. In a letter from Mr. Blackett lately he mentions having made a very large sale at £20. 10s. payable in 6 months. As Mr. Stevenson appears to have come into the terms which the Gentlemen Trustees have proposed, he appears to me to be the properest person to appoint. The resolutions of the Meeting appear to me to be very good, & most certainly some application should be made by the Receiver (who is he) to Mr. Barker as it is highly proper the Trustees shd. be in possession of the writings & not Mr. Barker. I have not subscribed for any shares in the canals for myself as yet the Books have not been sent, & there is an Idea there will be two canals, & I am desired to wait before I put my name down. You may pay Gill of Leeds but tell him to send his Bill into me before you pay it. I am happy to say that Mrs. Beaumont & the dear Children are very well the Young one is in good health and likely to do well. – I am Dear Skelton Yours sincerely T.R.B.- [Cover:] London January nineteenth 1796 Mr. Skelton, Birthwaite Hall, Wakefield. From Tho. Rd. Beaumont.