The Winter Villa
Thursday 5th Jany 1860
My dear Henry
I am so glad we are going to have a visit from Matilda, <1> & I wish you could be persuaded to accompany them here – or if you stay on at Melbury, <2> as Matilda thinks probably, do come & see us afterwds before you return home It is very naughty of you never having come here once for such ages – When really you have no tie whatever to prevent you. Ld Mt E. <3> would like so much to see you & the Bougainvillea is in such beautiful flower! Sir Wm Hooker <4> says it only flowers very sparingly at Kew even. If Charles <5> is with you at Melbury do bring him too – & tell Uncle Wm & Sophy, <6> they must pay us a visit some day too.
Harriot wrote me word Uncle Wm had shewn her such interesting old letters from Ly Sarah Bunbury to Aunt Susan. <7> We had a brilliant Xmas tree last night. Val <8> helped us – so it was sure to be successful. Katie <9> is not quite well enough to travel yet; but [illegible deletion] we hope in a few days she will be able to come down here. We have had such tremendous gales here – One night [illegible] the guns in the Royal Albert got loose, & rolled about the deck – altho’ the ship was in the Sound where the anchorage is protected by the Breakwater.
Yr affte Sister
Henry Fox Talbot Esqre
1. Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, ‘Tilly’, née Talbot (1839–1927), WHFT’s 3rd daughter.
2. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
3. Ernest Augustus Edgcumbe, Lord Valletort, 3rd Earl of Mt Edgcumbe (1797–1861), WHFT’s brother-in-law.
4. Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865), Prof & botanist.
5. Charles Henry Talbot (1842–1916), antiquary & WHFT’s only son.
6. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat; and his wife, Lady Sophia Penelope Jolliffe, née Sheffield (1822-1882); first m. WTHFS, 21 July 1857; second m. 1st Baron Hylton.
7. Lady Sarah Bunbury Napier, née Lennox (1745–1826), daughter of the 2nd Duke of Richmond and Susannah Sarah Louisa O’Brien, née Strangways (1743–1827), WHFT’s great aunt.
8. William Henry Edgcumbe, ‘Val’, 4th Earl Mt Edgcumbe (1832–1917), JP & Ld Steward of the Royal Household; WHFT’s nephew ‘Bimbo’.
9. Lady Katherine Elizabeth Edgcumbe, née Hamilton (1840–1874), wife of William Henry Edgcumbe.