Mount Edgcumbe <1>
May 3rd 1862
My dear Henry
I received your letter from Melbury <2> today, enclosing one for Jane. <3> I forward it by this post to Torquay, as she returned on Thursday, the day after the Wedding. She did not come here at all, being afraid of the fatigue, crossing the water often, &c & so remained at the Royal Hotel with Lucy, & Edward. <4> Val <5> however had asked the whole family; & arranged a Dinner for the 2 families, a regular “gathering”, on Monday, 2 days before the marriage – So Christiana, Theresa, Kate, Johnnie & his wife Minnie, Ilted, Stephen & Spencer <6> dined here that day – as well as Captn & Mrs Jerningham & the 2 young ladies. <7> Mr Gaisford & Horace <8> also came.
The ceremony took place on Wednesday the 30th in the R. Catholic Cathedral – & was performed by Dr Grant, Bishop of Southwark, <9> formerly head of the English College at Rome – & a friend of Jane’s. Everybody attended the Wedding, except Flora <10> & me – & went afterwds to a Breakfast at the house. Captn Jerningham has been in Command of the Cambridge Gunnery Ship, for 5 years – & Wednesday was the last day of his Command. He had the Ship & all connected with her still under his orders – & the Church was lined with Sailors in their smartest trim – who prevented the crowd rushing in. I believe he was very much liked by the men – & Iltid [sic] (who was with him 4 years) was also very popular.
They had huge garlands at the mast heads – which is the nautical signal for a Wedding. The Bride <11> is very pretty & pleasing.
I went over to see Jane, later in the day.
I do not wonder at your enjoying a quiet visit to dear Melbury at this lovely season – It must be beautiful – I am so glad Uncle Wm <12> is pretty well.
I heard from Amandier, <13> (in answer to me), about a week ago – & I wrote to her again yesterday. Ernestine <14> also had a nice letter from Rosamond <15> this morning. She tells her you were going from Melbury to Laycock Abbey yesterday, for two days – so I conclude you will still be there tomorrow, & this will reach you there. Do you think you could come on here, as you are so much nearer this neighbourhood than is your wont, to see me before going Northwards again? Val begged I would ask you to come; & I know Katie would so very much like to make your acquaintance. I shall be very soon going to settle at Cotehele <16> – & they will be doing various things in the house before going up to Tunbridge Wells – where she is going for her confinement – but for the next week or two, we shall be here in statu quo.
I am afraid it will be very long before I shall see you again – if you do not come now.
Yr affte Sister
Henry Fox Talbot Esqre.
1. Mt Edgecumbe, near Plymouth: seat of the Earl of Mt Edgcumbe
2. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
3. Jane Harriot Nicholl, née Talbot (1796–1874).
4. Lucy Mary Nicholl (1824-1876), of Merthyr Mawr.
5. William Henry Edgcumbe, ‘Val’, 4th Earl Mt Edgcumbe (1832–1917), JP & Ld Steward of the Royal Household; WHFT’s nephew ‘Bimbo’.
6. Christiana Judy Nicholl, of Merthyr Mawr; Theresa Anna Maria Digby, née Fox Strangways (1814–1874), WHFT’s cousin; Lady Katherine Elizabeth Edgcumbe, née Hamilton (1840–1874), wife of William Henry Edgcumbe; John Cole Nicholl (b. 1832); Iltyd Thomas Mansel Nicholl (1828–1885); Stephen NIcholl; Spencer Perceval Nicholl (b. 1841), army officer.
7. Captain Arthur William Jerningham (1807–1889), his wife Sophia Mary Margaret and their daughters Paulina Jerningham and Agnes Mary Jerningham.
8. Capt Thomas Gaisford (1816–1898), JP, WHFT’s brother-in-law, and Lt Horace Charles Gaisford (1851–1879), WHFT’s nephew.
9. Thomas Grant (1816–1870), Bishop of Southwark (1851–1870).
10. Her husband's niece through his sister, Lady Caroline Sophia Edgcumbe (d. 10 April 1824), who was the first wife of Reginald George Macdonald (d. 1873): The Honorable Flora Isabella Clementina (1822-1899) was Maid of Honor and later Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria.
12. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.
14. Ernestine Emma Horatia Edgcumbe (1843-1925), WHFT’s niece.
15. Rosamond Constance ‘Monie’ Talbot (1837–1906), artist & WHFT’s 2nd daughter.
16. Cotehele, Cornwall: ancient house, seat of the Earl of Mt Edgcumbe, now a National Trust Property.
17. George Banks, jnr (1821–1894), stonemason, Lacock.