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observe with satisfaction that Pryse's efforts had reduced his father's outstanding debts by some £ 5,800.17 It seems that either this tem- porary relief or Pryse's increasing public duties had weakened his resolve to free himself from debt, for during the next year a dis- consolate note crept into Deare's letters. Urging Pryse to attend to his financial affairs, he wrote in 1824; 'I have often said that your extrication from your difficulties depends more upon your own resolution and energy than upon anything that I or anyone else can do for you. If your affairs merely remained in status quo by this want of exertion it might not perhaps so much signify, but they are daily becoming more embarassed.'18 By the middle of 1829, Pryse had borrowed on mortgage some £ 29,750 since his father's death in 1822. The cautious Deare, some- what concerned as to the ability of the estate to service further interest charges, suggested additional 'thinning' of the Gogerddan woods as a means of providing ready cash.19 Such a measure, how- ever, would hardly be sufficient to exorcise the latest financial spectre confronting the harassed Pryse. This involved the raising of £ 36,000 to guarantee the income of his maiden sister Jane Lovedon, following the repayment of the Warneford mortgage. With monotonous regularity Pryse was addressed upon this subject by his sister through the 1830s and '40s: were I you and you me I would raise the six and thirty thousand pounds and place it in the Funds by which means you would rid yourself and your heirs of me forever'.20 Jane Lovedon's pleas, cajolings and threats were to follow Pryse Pryse to his grave in 1849 and it remained for his son to agree to pay his elderly aunt £ 1,200 per annum until the mortgage on her fortune had been discharged.21 He doubtless heaved a deep sigh of relief when the old spinster joined her forefathers in 1855. Three years before Pryse Pryse's death, a major estate settlement had been effected. Reciting the terms of Lewis Pryse's will of 1779 and a disentailing deed of 1838, by which Pryse Pryse and his son were entitled to dispose of the estates as they thought fit, the Epitome of Settlement of 25 July 1846 settled the Woodstock and Cardiganshire estates upon Pryse Pryse, junior, in tail male. C. Deare to G. Tennant, 19 November 1823. 18 C. Deare to Pryse Pryse, n.d. (1824). C. Deare to Pryse Pryse, 17 June 1829; 30 October 1830. 20 Jane Lovedon to Pryse Pryse, 16 July 1842. 11 Lease and release, 19 October 1850. Dowagers, daughters and younger sons could virtually cripple an already indebted estate by absorbing large proportions of the gross income in the form of annuities, jointures and dowries. Thus some sixty per cent of the £ 70,000 annual income of the 5th duke of Devonshire in 1865 was taken up by interest on debts and annuities (David Cannadine, 'The Landowner as Millionaire: The Finances of the Dukes of Devonshire, c.1800-1926', Ag. Hist. Rev. XXV (1977), p. 797.)