Friday 29th August
Carissimo Fratello <2>
We have been so taken up with the races, that I have not had time to write since we have been here. We left Lacock Monday & arrived here just in time for dinner. we found in the house Mr & Mrs G. Bankes, Mr W. Bankes Mr Alexander, Captn Woodley <3> & Mr Peach. Mr W. Bankes is excessively amusing, I never heard him really talk before, having only seen him at balls & parties. Mrs G. Bankes is very good natured, I believe she is a great friend of Harriet’s. <4 This is a delightful
place house: one of the drawing rooms is quite like an Italian room very high with an upper set of windows – & some very good pictures. there is a granite obelisk, that W. Bankes brought from the island of Phile<5> & that is to be set up opposite the house on the lawn – The stone it is to stand upon was laid last year by the Duke of Wellington <6> & has an inscription to that effect. The races the first day were not very good but the course is a very pretty one as you see the horses the whole way round. Henry Frampton <7> is there & quite well again. He says Louisa <8> is much better, but they are to stay at Bowes a fortnight longer. It is a great pity they were not here, the only time we have ever come. I was very much amused at the balls & had more partners than I could dance with – it was so much pleasanter than any ball in London. The room was very good & the music excellent. – The second day the races were better, the last one was very pretty as the two horses came in almost together. Afterwards we dined at the ordinary with a hundred people, which entertained me exceedingly – they drank Mr Banke’s health, & the Steward, Sir E. Baker’s <9> – upon which they got up & made speeches. Mama <10> was bored to death with the dinner – but C. <11> & I were delighted. – Mr Banke’s is a nice old man , very good natured – he has promised to take us to-morrow to see Corfe Castle,<12> & we are going Sunday to Saltram, Lord Morley’s. <13>
I hope you have had as fine weather as we have lately, it must be most delightful to be rowing about on the lake of Geneva by moon-light. Pray don’t forget to look for our villa near Chilton – Lord Lansdowne & Aunt Louisa <14> set off Tuesday – they are going by Calais, Lille, Mons, Namur, Luxembourg, Mayence, Coblentz to Francfort, where they will leave Kerry & Henry <15> to come back with Mr Guthrie by the Rhine as Henry is going back to Westminster & Kerry to Cambridge which he is vastly proud of. He is going to Trinity College. <16> They will go from Francfort to Augsbourg & Munich, & we have advised them strongly to go to Salzbourg in their way to Insprück, & through part of Switzerland & over the Splügen to Milan, Parma, Bologna & Florence. feliciloro! I think Lord L will hardly have the heart to stop there, & not go on to Rome, but my Aunt says they will certainly be [missing text]<17> Christmas. – We went to see Mrs Moore <18> the day before we went came away, & found Anastasia a great deal better – they think that she will soon be quite recovered. Mr Moore <19> was very much pleased with Caroline’s two last vignettes, the singing Lady & the voice – that is to say, the Lady carried off on horseback in the sea. The pilgrim is now engraved. Mr Moore sang it for us the other day – the words & air are beautiful, & very melancholy. – We left Lacock in great beauty, the Dahlias are quite splendid, & my garden has several pretty flowers besides the Ferroria Tigrisha, for which I find I was quite wrong in calling the Tiger Lily. The blue Campanulas at Bowood <20> are the finest I ever saw – I think they are 6 feet high. Pray go & see – M. Eynard – Lord Lansdowne’s [sic] says he is at Geneva. I do not believe a word about the Turks having beat the Russians at Tchumla<21>. – I don’t think we have heard a word of politics since we have been here – it seems quite odd – but it is so much the better, as they are wretched Tories – they take in the Standard & John Bull! – Nobody can tell who is to be first Lord of the Admiralty – some say Lord Grey, <22> some Lord Marlborough, or Ld Melville <23> again. – Addio, enrico carissimo, <24> pray write me a letter as long as this if you have time & tell me all you are doing & how you go from Besançon to Geneva. Mama et C. t’embrassent, insi que ta s œur <25>
PS. <26> Cal is keeping [missing text] and of the weather.
I was going to write but this child has [forstalled?] me. [illegible] [But?] you shall be
2. Dearest brother.
3. George Bankes (1787-1856) and Georgina Charlotte Bankes, née Nugent (1799-1875); William John Bankes (1786-1855), politician; possibly H Head Alexander, Secretary, Chippenham Literary & Scientific Institution.
4. Harriot Georgiana Mundy, née Frampton (1806-1886), WHFT’s cousin & sister-in-law.
5. An island or islands in Upper Egypt where William John Bankes discovered an obelisk in 1815.
6. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769–1852). He had been a personal friend of Bankes since the time of the Peninsular Wars.
7. Henry Frampton (1804-1879).
8. Louisa Charlotte Frampton (1808-1885), author.
10. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
11. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.
12. Henry Bankes (1757-1835), politician. Corfe Castle, Dorset, defended by Lady Bankes against the Parliamentarians during the Civil War.
13. The husband of Frances Parker, née Talbot, Lady Morley (d. 1857).
14. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863), MP, WHFT’s uncle; and his wife, Louisa Emma Petty Fitzmaurice, née Fox Strangways, Marchioness of Lansdowne (1785-1851), Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1837-1838; WHFT's aunt.
15. William Thomas Fitzmaurice, Earl of Kerry (1811–1836), MP and Henry Fitzmaurice, Lord Shelburne, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne (1816–1866), MP.
16. Trinity College, Cambridge.
17. Text torn away under seal.
18. Probably Elizabeth (Bessie) Moore, née Dyke (1783–1865), wife of the poet Thomas Moore.
19. Probably Thomas Moore (1780–1852), Irish poet.
20. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
21. Tchumla, today Shumla or Shumen in Bulgaria, inland from Varna. The Russians withdrew from here in the winter of 1828 during the Russo-Turkish War.
22. Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845), statesman.
23. Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville (1771–1851), First Lord of the Admiralty (1812–1827) and (1828–1830).
24. Goodbye, dearest Henry.
25. Mama and Caroline kiss you, as does your sister.
26. Postscript written by Charles Feilding.
27. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.