September 2d 1815.
My Dear Mr Feilding,
There was no shooting yesterday, by reason of Sir Christopher <2> having cut, or as he terms it, slivered his thumb. Jem George <3> has been so busy carrying the wheat, barley, oats, peas & other crops; that he has not been able to go out with me & Kit. <4> Once indeed we attempted to have a little shooting in the Evening after dinner, & sallied out with murderous intentions; but we first put in a little powder to clear <illegible deletion> the gun, & unfortunately could not fire it off, so after altering the flint a thousand ways, we were obliged to return home, & take it to pieces; – we found that the cock would not strike back the pan, though it afforded plenty of sparks – Then we loosened the Screw, & oiled it well, & went out again. Again it would not go off, which I perceived was owing to Jem George’s pulling the trigger very slowly & gently: but he would not allow that to be the reason. – However I am certain that it was, because the Groom came up, & pulled the trigger smartly, & it went off directly, with a very loud & clear report. It was then dark, so we went home, & have not been out since: for Aunt Mary <5> objects to my going out with anybody but Jem George, who is too busy. Tell me the events of your shooting at Sprotborough. <6> –
I remain –
P.S. the clothes, & charger are not come yet; – Kits holidays are prolonged one week, for the Battle of Waterloo. <7>
Dr Butler <8> desires that I will present you “his most respectful compliments, together with many thanks for your polite & pleasing letter.”
Capt Feilding R.N.
Sir J. Copley’s
1. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
2. Sir Christopher Cole (1770–1836), Captain, MP & naval officer.
3. A servant of the Cole family.
4. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
5. Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt.
6. Sprotbrough Hall, the family seat of Sir Joseph Copley (1762–1838).
7. 18 June 1815.
8. Rev George Butler (1774–1853), Headmaster at Harrow.