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Document number: 674
Date: 22 Nov 1815
Recipient: FEILDING Charles
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA15-3
Last updated: 6th February 2013

Castleford <1>
Novr 22d 1815.

My Dear Mr Feilding,

I am very much obliged to you for the books which I received yesterday. – You did not include the Greek Testament as you said, but however I believe there are plenty here. – And in the first parcel you left out the Xenophon’s Anabasis, <2> which I wanted as a Greek prose writer. – The Prayer Book is almost too well bound to be used every Sunday; – I have not tried the new Flannel Waistcoats yet; – they seem almost too large. – We have heard of a great many Ponies, one of which I tried, but did not like it at all; – so did not buy it. – I shall certainly find one soon that will suit me. – We are pretty regular here, – breakfast at 9, lunch at 1. Dinner at 6. – Tea ½ p. 8. Bed ½ p. 10. – I am at present reading, Horace’s Epistles, Homer’s Odessey, Cicero de Officiis, Sallust, Euclid, Gisborne’s Survey – Tytler’s Elements of History, La Harpe’s Cours de Litterature. & Arithmetic. & Paley’s Moral Philosophy. <3> – not all on the same Day, but certain books on certain Days – I have made no use of my Gun yet, indeed I see so little Game here, that it is of no use. – This is the Total of what I have seen in my walks as yet, 2 pheasants – 2 rabbits, 1 Hare. – We go to Church twice on Sunday, the Sermon is in the Morning, of about 20 minutes duration; which is a very pleasant length: – at Harrow Mr Cunningham Sermon’s were 35 minutes long on the average, & as he gave us one both Morning & Evening, & subdivided them into more Heads than the Lernæan Hydra <4> had, we were always very tired of them. – Mr Barnes <5> preaches very well, short, clear, & comprehensive. – The Morning Chronicle is highly agreeable to the party here assembled. – I find Mr Barnes understands a little Persian. – Pray inform me about Kit’s <6> alarm at Harrow, of which my Aunt Charlotte <7> speaks

I remain, Yrs Afftly
WHF. Talbot.

Tell Mamma that I lock up her letters in my writing desk, so she may write to me whatever she likes, secure from the animadversions of servants –

Capt Feilding R.N.
Melbury <8>


1. Castleford, Yorkshire, 10 mi SE of Leeds, where WHFT went to school from 1815-1816.

2. Xenophon ( ca.430– ca.355 BC), Greek historian, wrote of the military campaigns in which he served as a young officer. His best-known book, Anabasis, tells of the march and retreat of the Greek auxiliary army in the service of the Persian prince Cyrus, who was trying to overthrow his brother, King Artaxerxes II.

3. The authors are, in order, Horace (65–8 BC), lyric poet and satirist; Homer, the Greek epic poet; Cicero (106–43 BC), Roman statesman and author; Sallust ( ca.86– ca.35 BC), Roman historian; Euclid ( BC), mathematician; Thomas Gisborne (1758–1846), wrote a survey of the Christian religion; Lord Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747–1813); Jean François de La Harpe (1739–1803); William Paley (1743–1805). [See Doc. No: 00633].

4. It had nine heads.

5. Rev Theophilus Barnes (1774 –1855), of Castleford.

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

7. Lady Charlotte Anne Lemon, née Strangways (d. 27 May 1826), WHFT's aunt.

8. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.

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