Hart to Upton 1802

‘ Thos. Hart to Charles Upton, Derby, 1802 ’


Eunice Shanahan

This letter has been ‘defaced’ by a previous owner who has written on the front address panel in indelible pencil ‘posted at UTTOXETER’ and then joined it together with a sticky paper label with blue edges. It has a poorly struck town stamp in black ink of that town, and obviously the previous owner wanted to confirm this.

It was written by a Mr Hart of that town to Charles Upton Esq, Derby, and the postage cost was 5d. At the time this letter was written the postal rates were 5d for a distance of 30 to 50 miles,on the present day map it looks to be about 25 miles, but 200 years ago there does not seem to have been a direct road from Uttoxeter to Derby.

So now to the letter which is still perfectly legible after more than 200 years. The ink has not faded, and the handwriting is easy to read. At this time the ‘long S’ was in use in hand writing when there was a double ‘s’ in the word, as in ‘Commissioners’, and ‘necessary’.

Dear Sir
I yesterday rode over to Holly Bush, and had an Interview with Mr Gisborne, when we settled the businefs of the allotments very pleasantly by agreeing that each of us should take half; it was also understood between us, that in case Lord Scarsdales’ and the Foston allotments should turn out to be so considerable that the half would complete our plan of reaching up to the Turnpike Road, within 4 or 5 acres, the turn of the Scale should then be given in our favour.

I for my own part wish the price should at the proper Season be fixed by the Commifsioners, and if you approve it, and think it proper an agreement should be entered into, will you have the goodness to prepare one, as also to take the charge of making our Title, when the allotment and price is ascertained, and we shall have an implicit confidence in your judgement as to the Power of us Trustees in making it.

I have received your account of the land claiming right of Forest and will make the Necefsary inquiries, but am apprehensive it will be found to be at large I remain
Dr Sir
Yours sincerely
Thos. Hart Junr.

Uttoxeter 8 Oct 1802

From the contents of this letter, it probably refers to the enclosure of the lands, changing the ownership, and the decisions were in the hands of the Commissioners. The ‘ Right of Forest ’ referred to in this letter concerns the rights of villagers to have access to the forest for gathering wood for fuel, and for using the pasture for their sheep and pigs, and these rights were lost when the lands including the forests were enclosed.

Note: Charles Upton of Full Street Derby was appointed the Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1809, and he died on November 27th 1814 in his 62nd year.

As a matter of interest, we have 3 others letters written to Mr Upton on our website, and although they do not give much information about the man himself, they do show the kind of work a solicitor would have had to do in the late 18th, early 19th centuries in England. These are the links for those letters

The earliest is dated 1797 and is on our London posts section of the website

The first letter notice the fancy signature.

Letter of 1798

Letter of 1800

Letter of 1802

Reference Great Britain Post Roads Post Towns and Postal Rates 1635-1839, Alan W. Robertson.

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