Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 5: January 1794 to December 1797

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pg 228Editor’s Note1151To Earl Spencer14 July 1796 (Aet 48)

Queen's Square Place 14 July 1796

My Lord

The spot which Mr Harrison had allotted me contained, according to his letter, 125 Acres: in point of quantity I shall not attempt to trespass upon your Lordship's indulgence any farther. But with regard to the necessity of taking in the Timber Docks, for the purpose of insuring the healthiness of the spot as a place of residence for such inhabitants, it is not in my power to change my opinion. This would require the beginning with the great dock as being the great source of putridity, and would carry the spot westward as far as the Walnut-tree walk, which is an existing boundary, and seems a natural and commodious one. To comprise all the Docks, that is all the repositories of putrescent mud, the allotment would require to extend to the East-ward as far as the small Houses called the the White Houses or thereabouts. These, any more than the Red House, or the Mills I don't very well see how I could propose to the Treasury to purchase, although your Lordship were inclined to part with them: which I should not expect to find the case, unless it were to save ground to the westward. But on my own private account I should have no objection to be your Lordship's tenant for the Houses, and I though they seem for some time to have gone a begging, should not think of offering less rent than the best they have ever fetched. If a tenant were wanting for the Mill, which, though it be a mere conjecture, I am inclined from circumstances to suspect may be the case, I think it not improbable I might conceive some means of making it worth my while to charge myself with the rent: not in any instance should I attempt to put any part of your Lordships estate in the worse plight for my intrusion into the neighbourhood of it. Not being informed of the rent, any more than of the means which a tenant has of making it out, it is of course impossible for me to speak with decision on the subject in the present stage of the business: what I have said, your Lordship will I hope have the goodness to receive as a testimony of my pg 229wish to render the inconvenience, of which it is my misfortunate to become the instrument, as light as possible.

I understood it to be your Lordships wish when I had the honour of waiting on you, that I should even then if possible have given a precise description of the spot I wished for. But this was neither then possible, nor is it now. The sketch, in the state in which it had been originally made out, had been intended to be accompanied by a particular, which I saw making out for me at your Lordship's office. But this particular I have not received, and therefore remain in the dark as to the respective quantities of land in the several plots delineated in the sketch: which though a representation, and of course a correct one, of the property, is no picture of the appearance of the land which it includes: it exhibits boundary lines in multitudes, where there are no correspondent visible ones on the land: and it represents as terminating in No. 39 a road which runs nearly at right angles from the Walnut-tree Lane, and which in fact continues on across No. 39 as far or nearly as far as the Red House. The original map has a scale to it, I suppose: were this scale marked upon the sketch,2 and the roads that run through it distinctly and compleatly represented (by a red line for example) with their names annexed, together with marks for the site of the Houses, these additions would enable me, I should hope, to obey your Lordships commands with regard to the marking out the spot desired, without troubling Mr Harrison for the particular abovementioned: It is in the hope of its receiving these little additions that I take the liberty of inclosing the sketch, begging the favour of the return of it, if your Lordship pleases, as soon as may consist with your Lordships convenience—I have the honour to be with all respect

  • My Lord                                      
  • Your Lordship's most                    
  • obedient and humble Servant           
  • Jeremy Bentham              

Earl Spencer

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1151. 1 B.L. VI: 216–17. Autograph draft. Docketed: '1796 July 14 / Panopt J.B. Q.S.P. / to / Earl Spencer Admiralty.'
Editor’s Note
2 A copy of the the sketch is in B.L. VI: 218.
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