Manuscript letter: Hards begins the letter by congratulating Owen for his philanthropic work, in particular the formation of an institution that has recently opened. He also recounts his time living in France and that the revolution of 1789 has done little to improve the lives of the people: land remains uncultivated and many don't even eat bread.
Hards then states the main reason for his letter. It relates to materials and other aspects that can prevent ships from being cast away, and that he has spent his own money on trials. Hards recounts a letter that he received from a French admiral, Count Ver Huell, wishing him luck in his endeavours. Hards continues, stating he would like to set up a subscription so that funding may be raised to obtain patents for the machinery he is developing, and asks for Owen's advice.
Hards finishes the letter by informing Owen of new medicines that are being produced in France.