link to Talbot Project home page link to De Montfort University home page link to Glasgow University home page
Project Director: Professor Larry J Schaaf

Back to the letter search >

Result number 13 of 216:   < Back     Back to results list   Next >  

Document number: 665
Date: 13 Sep 1815
Recipient: FEILDING Charles
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA15-10
Last updated: 14th December 2010

Penrice, <1>
Septr 13th 1815.

My Dear Mr Feilding,

I regret exceedingly that you are not here, for there are so many subjects, on which I should like to speak to you, more than I can comprize in a letter. – As I have no doubt you wish to be informed of my further proceedings with the Gun, I will give you a regular account. Last Friday I had the choice of going with a party to Wormshead by water, <2> or, of going shooting with Jem George <3> – I preferred the latter, because sea excursions always make me sick; & accordingly, got up at six o’clock in the morning, & having taken a hasty breakfast, went to meet Jem George at the Farm. – His reason for going so early was, that he might shoot before the scent was off the fields. It was a lovely morning, succeeded by a sultry day. We went through Penrice Village, to Cold Comfort, & thence to Slade, & thereabouts; – Searching every field for Partridges, which was exceedingly fatiguing, especially as the Sun shone ardently, & was reflected by the stubble to an almost insupportable degree. We went to Will Clark’s house, & procured a draught of beer, which refreshed me amazingly. We then spied the Penrice party, doubling Port Eynon point – Will Clark came with us, & did more harm than good; – for he was followed by four dogs, who went yelping before us, & turned a fine covey of birds, out of shot!!! Jem George then began to despair of killing a bird, & declared it was the worst luck he ever met with. About two hours after this we accidentally parted company, so I, finding myself unable to rejoin him, went home, & in my way, shot twice at two little birds, one of which I killed; – & which were absolutely the only shots I had all day! Jem George however, after my departure, fell in with another covey, & shot three of them. He says that had I been with him, I might have had the best shot in the world. – It was half past two when I came in, so I had been out upwards of seven hours to no purpose. This has given me such an idea of the scarcity of Game here, that I have not been out for any since – Indeed you know I greatly prefer the humbler pursuit of Crows & Magpies, &c. &c. of which there are abundance here: – & my chief pleasure would be to take a walk by myself along the Marsh, before breakfast, & shoot at the Rabbits on the Sandbanks – You & Mamma <4> seem averse to this, but pray inform me on pillegible[ <5> of what “acts & deeds” of mine, do you consider a Gun an unsafe implement in my hands. – Sir Christopher <6> has tried his luck today for the first time; – & after a very sultry walk, has returned without getting a shot; Jem George having only killed two birds!!! – Pray excuse this writing, for the weather is so dreadfully hot, that I can really hardly hold the Pen in my hand – On Saturday, it being Kit’s <7> last day, (for he is gone back to Harrow <8>) after dinner, we attempted to have some fun with the small birds; – but it was too late in the day; – so we contented ourselves with shooting at pieces of paper to amuse Christopher; – The Gun frequently flashed in the Pan, which so provoked Jem George, that he declared he had seen all along the Gun would never do, that it was a mere toy, & would not, he was certain, kill a partridge at the distance of fifteen yards, that if it was his, he would never keep such a Gun, &c. &c. – I represented to him, that it would go off well enough if he shook some powder into the touch-hole, but he replied, “who would ever keep a Gun so troublesome as that?” – In short, his opinion of it has so much discouraged me, that I don’t think I shall use it again till I see, or hear from you.

I remain, Yrs Affectly
W.H.F. Talbot.

Captain Feilding

to Oxford 50
to North 42
to Leicester 31
Melton 16
Burley 12

73 Bawtry 23


1. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.

2. Worms Head: Glamorgan, South Wales.

3. A servant of the Cole family.

4. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.

5. Text obscured by seal.

6. Sir Christopher Cole (1770–1836), Captain, MP & naval officer.

7. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.

8. Harrow School: WHFT attended from 1811–1815 and his son Charles from 1855-1859.

Result number 13 of 216:   < Back     Back to results list   Next >