My dr Henry
I hear you have been enquiring as to the way in whh the different branches of the family are billetted this Christmas – you may perhaps have heard by this time that Mary <2> is here, & the remnant of her dispersed family – Jane <3> bringing Mary with her in tow, & Charlotte <4> having staid behind at Bath to be under Mr Hickes’s <5> care so we have only Isabella & Emma <6> – but all we have, stay till the 27th & if you can take flight & come here while they are here, you will delight us all, & I know I cannot offer you a greater interest than seeing them. – Kit <7> joins us in a few days with Harry, William, <8> &c &c – but the two brothers will not stay long – so do not deliberate but “set all sail” for Moreton as soon as you receive this. – You will see sad destruction in our leafy tribe by this Hurricane for it was little short of it, on the 22d – only think of the whole village of Fleet being destroyed, Church & all! by the [illegible deletion] Sea or rather waters of the fleet coming over it & many houses in Chesil (the first village in Portland as you enter from the ferry) where unfortunately 25 people were swept away by the three tremendous waves that carried away the Houses.<9> – All our favorite trees are gone, but I felt thankful we were not all gone too, for it was tremendous I lay in bed & heard window after window blown in – we had six blown in here – It has not reached very far inland, tho’ it did as far as Wardour, <10> where Lord Arundell <11> told me he had very many windows blown in & lost some trees – Our loss in number of them was 150 but the 10 favorites were a greater loss than the other 140 –
Harriot FramptonAs we are to have a dancing party specially for Isabella & Emma, who have been taking lessons in dancing at Bath on purpose to appear on the Moreton Boards, you must prepare your mind either to join us or to visit my A. Susan<12> for this one night if we shd want your room for a more official inhabitant, but bring but your dear self here & we will settle all those minor details viva voce <13>
Henry Talbot Esqre
Hôtel de la Terrasse
Rue de Rivoli
1. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
2. Mary Thereza Talbot (1795–1861), WHFT’s cousin.
3. Jane Harriot Nicholl, née Talbot (1796–1874).
4. Charlotte Louisa 'Charry' Traherne, née Talbot (1800–1880), WHFT’s cousin.
6. Isabella Catherine Franklen, née Talbot (1804–1874), and Emma Thomasina Llewelyn, née Talbot (1806–1881), photographer; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
7. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
8. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858), and William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.
9. On the night of 22/23 November 1824, the ‘Great Gale’ inflicted a terrible toll on homes and shipping in Dorset, Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall. In Fleet, 2 miles west of Weymouth, Dorset, enormous seas engulfed the entire village ('the waters of the fleet' refers to the inland lagoon, the Fleet). Nearby Portland, an island in the English Channel famous for its limestone, saw massive seas sweep over its Chesil Beach, demolishing scores of houses in the village of Chesil.
10. About two miles from Tisbury, Wiltshire.
11. James Everard, 10th Baron Arundell of Wardour (1785–1834).
12. Susannah Sarah Louisa O’Brien, née Strangways (1743–1827), WHFT’s great aunt.
13. Verbally, ie, face to face.