My Dear Henry
I am dreadfully disappointed at your letter, more especially as we lay directly in your way to Mt Edgcumbe <2> – You are however quite mistaken in supposing I will not accept of a passing visit even if only a Morning one, so we still expect you without fail whenever you leave – If you could be generous & allow us even one Night, (& it is just a days journey for Ela <3>) it would be very nice, as even if you are not here more hours (for while you are asleep it is nothing to any body or yourself where you are) we shd not feel so hurried. – As you do not say wch day you leave Southptn we will be ready for you any day, or hour – We will have breakfast ready & luncheon ready, & dinner ready & tea ready & beds ready, so that you shall be sure of being suited whatever time you come, so that you can have no
excuse reason to complain of us. – You must actually go by our door, & thus it would be [illegible] too atrocious to pass us by – as for Ld Mt E <4> not liking the V’s <5> to be at Mt Edgcumbe I cannot believe it, & I know they [illegible deletion] people set abt that Report [illegible deletion] once before – I have no doubt they will be often enough there to allow you plenty of opportunities of visits there, or at any rate, by sleeping here a night you will lose no time, being so directly [illegible deletion] in your way. – However if you only eat a snatch, I will not quarrel with you, but be too happy to see you once more within my doors & to shew Constance <6> Moreton (wch by the way it is vy unnatural of you not to want to shew her yourself), & shall be ready for you at any time – We think it possible you may be leaving Southptn as soon as Monday but as you will receive this Monday Morng, it will be time enough to make you turn your steps this way – Unluckily we did not get the early post, or I should have written today. – We shall therefore expect you from the middle of the day Monday, onwards, every day till we see you. – Beg Constance to write me a line by return of post if you are not likely to be here before the post hour (½ past twelve) on Tuesday – as I shall get her answer then – I hope you will let your little Ela rest her wearied brow here for one night, if you will not give Constance time to see us, or yourself time to see our new Garden, wch is supposed to be a vy great improvement to Moreton & yet gay for the season – Remember too that Harriot<7> will entirely miss Constance any other way, so that it will be very bad not to let them meet, & to say nothing of myself who have not seen Constance since I was at Laycock so that I really wish to see her momentarily
Henry Fox Talbot Esqre
or Mrs Fox Talbot
1. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
2. Mt Edgecumbe, near Plymouth: seat of the Earl of Mt Edgcumbe.
3. Ela Theresa Talbot (1835–1893), WHFT’s 1st daughter.
4. Richard Edgcumbe, 2nd Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe (1764–1839).
5. Ernest Augustus Edgcumbe, Lord Valletort, 3rd Earl of Mt Edgcumbe (1797–1861), WHFT’s brother-in-law; and his wife, Lady Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding (1808- 2 Nov 1881); WHFT's half-sister; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1840–1854 & 1863-1865.
6. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
7. Harriot Georgiana Mundy, née Frampton (1806-1886); WHFT's cousin & sister-in-law; married William Mundy, 1830.