My Dear Henry
Lord Lansdowne <2> says that as you have not written to us once since you went away, you must be in love, there is no other way of accounting for it. We attended the Archery meeting at Melksham Spa,<3> all for the sake of your popularity, which you don't attend to yourself so much as we do. The aristocracy of the neighborhood were there, in the shape of Lansdownes, Payne Gallweys, Feildings, Moneys, Lockes, Starkeys, Sir Alexander Mallet, & the Honble Richard Edwardes.<4> Mr Chalons, whose Studio I believe you have visited with Kit <5> is here, & Mr Joy<6> who I have invited to dine Saturday at Laycock entirely to please you, & in hopes you will take it instead of inviting him in London.
Do not come home without letting me know, because Lord Carnarvon & the Stapletons <7> come the 10th of September & we should not be able to hold them & the Gallweys without your bed. They say they can only stay one night. We return home tomorrow to receive Mr Vivian who is coming from Lord Ailesbury's <8> at Tottenham Park
Calne August Thirtieth 1832 Lansdowne
H. Fox Talbot Esq.
1. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
2. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780-1863), MP, WHFT's uncle.
3. The recently-formed Blackmoor Foresters, an archery society and social club; according to Hargrove's Anecdotes of Archery, it was defunct by 1845.
4. Sir William Payne Gallwey (1807-1881), 2nd Bart, and his wife, Emily Anne, née Frankland-Russell (b. 1822). In her 'Visitors at Laycock Abbey' register for 1832, Lady Elisabeth Feilding listed Madame Money, née de Boubel [Pulcherie de Bourbel Montpinçon, wife of George Money (b. 1778), later of HEIC], Mr Ernleigh Money and Mr Stoughton Money. Wadham Locke (1779-1835), MP, of Rowde Ford House, Devizes, and his wife Anna Maria Selina, née Powell. John Edward Andrew Bayntun Starkey (1799-1843), and his wife Charlotte, née Wyndham, of Spye Park, Bromham, Wiltshire. Sir Alexander Malet (1800-1886), politician. Hon. Richard Edwardes (d. 1852), Secretary of the Legation at Frankfurt.
5. There were several London-based artists by the name of Chalon, but this most likely was the Swiss-born Alfred Edward Chalon (1780-1860), a portraitist and illustrator of Sir Walter Scott's works. Kit was Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803-1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT's Welsh cousin.
6. Henry Hall Joy (1786-1840), lawyer, owner of Hartham Park and friend of Byron.
7. Henry George Herbert, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon (1772-1833); and Thomas Stapleton (1778-1839), with his 2ndwife, Henrietta Lavinia, née Anster (d. 1858).
8. Probably Sir Richard Hussey Vivian (1775-1842), politician. Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Marquess of Ailesbury (1773-1856).
9. William Thomas Fitzmaurice, Earl of Kerry (1811-1836), MP. The Lockes had six daughters, but their 4th, Miss Louisa Locke seems the likely one, having taken second place the year before, with Lord Kerry in 1st place. The Sporting Magazine, v. 3 s. 2 no. 16, August 1831, p. 331.
10. John George Charles Fox Strangways (1803-1859), MP.
11. Text torn away and masked under the seal. Almost certainly William Brabazon (1803-1877), later 11th Earl of Meath; he and WTHFS were contemporaries at Christchurch College, Oxford.