Penrice Castle <1>
My dear Henry
I inclose an account of the method of cultivating celery, which I have at length obtained for Mrs Feilding <2>, they bring it to such perfection at Merthyr, <3> that the plants when brought to table exceed three feet in length. If I can discover their method of treating it there, I will send it, but I believe it is a secret – The heat has been intense here for the last 3 days, the thermometer at 12 last night was 85° – I used to think Malvern <4> a very hot place. I have been here a fortnight, during which time the Galatea <5> has been undergoing the operations of scraping & painting, & I cannot say I much regret being on shore in this calm weather. She sails like a witch, and is endowed with every quality which should distinguish a clipper. I fell in with the experimental squadron under Capt. Willes of the Brazen off Portland and had a trial with them, the result of which proved our superiority on every point of sailing over the frigate, corvette & brigs which were under his orders. I dined with Capt. Gordon in the Pandora, an 18 gun brig, rigged as a corvette, to ascertain the difference in her rate with the Harlequin, as yet the ship has beat the brig, which is intirely contrary to my theories. I was chased for some time off the lands End by a boat which fired at us for an hour, till it grew dark some of their shots ricochetted close to us, with an unpleasant whistling noise, no doubt she mistook us for a smuggling schooner – I have not decided when I sail for Gibraltar, but probably in September, I was intirely prevented from going to London as I intended, from the carpenters keeping the vessel 3 weeks longer than I calculated – I shall sail for Cowes next Monday in hopes to be in time<6> to see 3 very interesting matches whi[ch] will take place about the Regatta – [If] you would like to see the humours of the place, I shall be most happy to set apart a birth [sic] for you. It is a kind of thing very well worth seeing once – You would find a yacht much better & less liable to make you sick than a packet, how I wish I could persuade you to make the voyage with us to the Mediterranean.
Believe me respectfully yours
C R M Talbot
Swansea July twenty-one. 1825 Chrishr Cole. <8>
Wm. Henry. Fox. Talbot Esqr
31 Sackville Str
1. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
2. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
3. Merthyr Mawr, Glamorgan, on River Ogwr.
4. Malvern, or Great Malvern, 9 mi SW of Worcestershire.
5. Christopher Talbot’s yacht.
6. Text torn away under seal.
7. John George Charles Fox Strangways (1803–1859), MP.
8. Sir Christopher Cole (1770–1836), Captain, MP & naval officer.