9 Lower Grosvenor Place –
I received your letter <1> while in Hampshire & thought it best to defer an answer until I could consult my Son.<2> He informs me that similar offers have been made by others – that the subject is felt to be one of delicacy and difficulty – because I suppose, all cases are not like yours simple & without self interest – That it is one intended for early consideration – & that as soon as the Commissioners shall have decided, there will be a public announcement on the subject.<3>
For my own part I hold such prizes as the best evidence of public feeling & sympathy – the most valuable, as evidence, from the experienced, of the direction, at least, in which improvement is most to be desired – and your offer of one for the best Daguerreotype as well as for one of Photography on Paper, as proof of a liberal love of art irrespective of personal considerations –
I remain Dear Sir Yrs very truly
H Fox Talbot Esq
2. Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke(1810-1869), 1st Baronet, Whig politician, art patron and one of the prime organisers of the Great Exhibition.
3. It is not known if this offer of WHFT awarding prizes was seriously discussed, but it did not come to pass.