Two Autograph Letters, one "Anonymous" the other signed, to the Bovey Coal Pottery Company

Joseph Cottle, bookseller and publisher (of "Lyrical Ballads", etc)
Publication details: 
Bristol and Fairfield House near Bristol, 1850 and 20 Dec. 1850.
SKU: 8715

One page and two pages, both 8vo, bifolia, some staining but text clear and complete. In the first letter to which (as he explains in the second letter) he didn't add his name, he says that he visited "your Bovey Coal Pits" as a geologist (!), made observations and concluded that it was a "real Coal district, the current coal mined [an internet site informs me of poor quality] being of a "comparatively recent formation". Real coal was produced in an earlier period. He recommends going beyond the "first stratum" "but as you descend you will come to one which will [be] a blessing to Devonshire . . .".Another hand has quoted Byron on Cottle ("ass") and Canning on the bifoliate leaf recto. In the second . after acknowledging the "anonymous" letter, reiterating his point and expanding, with underlining for emphasis, on the contrasting "real" coal that will be present, not just the "imperfect", depending on the depth of mining ("eight fathom". He makes recommendations. He recalls his brother-in-law and others some years before boring for coal at Bradminch, Devon, using boring rods (unsuccesssfully). These rods should be available for use (in the hands of a Mr Bowden who should be approached. He reflects on the Public interest of such a project and suggests careful records of strata which would be "highly acceptable to the Geological Society". |Note: "A kind of mineral coal, or brown lignite, burning with a weak flame, and generally a disagreeable odor; -- found at Bovey Tracey, Devonshire, England".