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Document number: 492
Date: 27 May 1808
Recipient: FEILDING Elisabeth Theresa, née Fox Strangways
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA8-5
Last updated: 30th January 2012

Rottingdean, <1>
May 27th 1808

My dear Mamma

I will as you advise me try to bear my misfortunes with fortitude if you will promise to be here the 1st of June to see me, I will get all my writing desk & books in order to shew them you that day so I beg you not to dissapoint me as it will make me very unhappy Kennet Bayley one of the Boys calls me illnatured because I will not give him a sheet of the Pretty embossed Paper you sent me, it is safe in my writing Box. I have got in the Latin Grammar (I told you I had begun at Hic, Hæc, Hoc again) as far as Melior. It is now 20 Minutes past 11 oclock so I suppose I shall get as far as Ambo <2> again Today. Saturday is always a ½ holiday. I hope you will not disapprove of my buying yesterday 3 buns (Value 1½d) as they were smoking hot but very light indeed. I have eat them all up. I like Master Perceval better than James Smith now. I have 4 games of Trapball & 1 of Cricket altogether I won 2 games of Trapball but I don’t know who won the game of Cricket my writing box contains my purse, a penny halfpenny, 1 stick of Sealingwax, 1 sheet Piece of blotting Paper, 1 dozen & 11 Sheets of Large Embossed Paper, 2 dozen Sheets of Small Embossed Paper, 1 Dozen & 3 sheets of Common Writing Paper, my pocket book & 14 Letters a bottle of Ink & another with nothing in it & 28 pens & I have 25 pens more in my desk. I have no Wafers at present but I shall have a bottle of Red ink tomorrow. besides that I have a little book (Value 6d) in my desk writing box I have not received the book I bespoke.

Your Affectionate Son
William Henry Fox Talbot

Send my love to all my Friends & be sure buy Betty [sic]<3> an English Dictionary. I Do not find Williams <4> Letters comfort me much----------------------------------------------<5>

My dear Mr Feilding <6> I do not wish you to bring anything with you when you come to see me but Mamma & my 3 books 24 Inches by 6 but be sure bring them Mamma’s letter will I believe inform you of all you wish to know but if you it does not then write to me & I will tell you all you wish to know tell Mamma & every body I write to to keep my letters & not burn them

[address panel:]
Lady E Feilding
81 Baker Street


1. Rottingdean, East Sussex, 4 mi SE of Brighton: WHFT attended school there from 1808–1811.

2. Both.

3. Elizabeth Vickery ‘Betty’, WHFT’s governess. When she died in autumn 1835, WHFT paid to have a gravestone placed at Cutcombe, Somerset, inscribed: 'Erected to the Memory of Elizbth Vickery his kind & faithful nurse by Henry Fox Talbot of Lacock Abbey in the country of Wilts Esqre'; the stone's inscription is still readable - See Doc. No: 03205.

4. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.

5. WHFT extended the tail of the final 'h' to draw a line across the sheet, signalling the end of this section of the letter.

6. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.

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