My dear Henry
Lakin <2> begs I will thank you for the Seeds you sent him & which he shd have acknowledged “but did not know if it would be proper to do so” wch is to the credit of his modesty, tho’ an Irishman! They are coming up fast especially the Hibiscus’s & Phaseolus – He is very proud of one sprouting of which there was only a single seed –. Some of the hard Seeds he expects will be some months before they come up – I was charmed with the array of labelled pots and pans when I returned from Dorsetshire 10 days ago. Will you tell Constance <3> I should have written to her but that I have been waiting in hopes of knowing what to say. We expect a Contest but no opponent has declared himself tho’ the emissaries on the other side seem to be canvassing as actively as ourselves – It is a very odd state of affairs & I expected something wd be declared every day. I hope Caroline <4> &c are going to leave Rome soon as I heard from very good authority lately that it was almost certain that there would be a general rising with a pillage of the Churches & palaces, unless the Austrian & Neapolitan Troops <5> were in time to prevent it – The Priests are selling all the valuables they can out of the Churches to the [illegible] & are escaping from Rome whenever it is possible – Many have already been stabbed as the priesthood are at a discount now wch is no great wonder I must say!! –
When we are in London after Easter pray bring me my Talbotyped Lettiza. <6> My affte love to Constance & with infinite gratitude for the Seeds wch enchant Lakin –
Yr affte Cousin
1. Markeaton Hall, Derbyshire, NW of Derby: home of the Mundy family.
3. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
4. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.
6. Rev George Wilson Bridges gave WHFT his photograph of ‘Lettija Travelling, Sicily’ around 1849. Lettija was a local type of carriage ( Schaaf 3306), illustrated in Gail Buckland, Fox Talbot and the Invention of Photography (Boston: David R Godine, 1980), p. 95. Although WHFT modestly used the term calotype, Bridges and other loyal supporters honoured him by calling these Talbotypes, in parallel with the term Daguerreotype.