My dear Henry
Here I am still in the midst of joiners carpenters painters & plumbers – I begin to think I shall never get to sea: fitting out a ship is certainly a Herculean task, and your description of the Mediterranean makes me only more impatient – I have been here three days in my way from London to the election which will commence almost immediately
I touched at Southampton and Melbury <1> in my way, & saw Ld Ilchester’s <2> yacht which is nearly ready for launching, building by the same man who built mine, but I fear I shall not be able to persuade him to come with her into the Mediterranean –
I am at a loss to reconcile your account of the storming of Missolonghi <3> with that which has appeared in all the French and English papers, and which purports to be official – Greek bonds are I believe about 90 below par – sellers. I hope the Holy Alliance however will interfere and prevent the Turks from forging any more Greek Bonds – but as yet I believe nothing at all has been done for them, and the Duke of Wellington’s <4> embassy appears to have had nothing to do with the subject. You have no doubt heard the melancholy account of poor C. Lemon <5> when I saw my aunt in London I ceased to have the smallest hope of her recovery, but I believe Sir Charles <6> has never despaired of it She is now given over by her physician Dr Clarke, who says she can recover only by a miracle – She is now so weak and has been for six weeks, that she faints whenever she is moved; such a state of infirmity I suppose death will be a happy release; I only feel for poor Sir Charles, who will have lost his last tie to earthly happiness – Pray let me have from you a programme of your intended movements till the winter, I hear you are now at Florence – do you stay there long? I shall be au desespoir <7> if you return before I get out.
Nobody has heard of John Strangways <8> since November except a friend of a friend of mine who is travelling with him, and who wrote to my friend that John had been ill & could not go up the Nile. If this is true, we ought to have heard something of him.
Adieu my dear Henry Believe me ever yours
C R M Talbot.
W. H. F. Talbot Esqr
1. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
2. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858).
3. Second siege of Missolonghi during the Greek War of Independence. Missolonghi was several times under siege in wars with the Turks from 1822 to 1828. It was captured by the Turks on 23 April 1826.
4. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769–1852), was in command of the forces which defeated Napoleon.
5. Lady Charlotte Anne Lemon, née Strangways (d. 27 May 1826), WHFT’s aunt.
6. Sir Charles Lemon (1784–1868), politician & scientist; WHFT’s uncle.
7. In despair.
8. John George Charles Fox Strangways (1803–1859), MP.