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Document number: 107
Date: Tue 20 Jul 1858
Dating: based on Doc no 07671
Postmark: London 20 Jul 1858
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: GILCHRIST-CLARK Matilda Caroline, née Talbot
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: Acc no 21004 (envelope only)
Last updated: 24th June 2015

9. Clarges St

My dear Papa,

We scolded Rosamond <1> for omitting to tell you in her yesterday’s letter, that we had indulged ourselves in a private theatrical representation that is to say, that we took courage to stop Punch, as he was passing one afternoon down our street, and made him play for us! It was very amusing because it is I don’t know how many years since we saw him last, and therefore it appeared quite new. The people living opposite us immediately took a deep interest in the performance, though they could only see the wrong side of the stage: however, they watched and listened with a perseverance worthy of a better cause, till some ladies living at 38, oppte thought of an improvement, so they had him over to their side as soon as our performance was concluded, the result of which was, that everybody came to the windows on each side of the street, which never before had presented such a gay appearance. So don’t you think Clarge’s Street ought to be grateful to us for procuring them an amusement which they would not have dared to procure for themselves had we not set the example. Rosamond told you I think, that we were going to see lady Shrewsbury <2> yesterday. She received us in the most cordial manner possible, saying she had wished so long to make our acquaintance, but had waited in the hopes of arranging a day to come with Mrs Gladstone, <3> which they never were able to accomplish, so at last she took courage to come by herself. And now, that we have met, she said, I hope in future we shall be good cousins. We told her that she should come and see Lacock, at which she seemed quite pleased, as she takes great interest in everything belonging to the family, has attended the trial constantly, and knows the pedegree [sic] almost by heart, as well as her children, who are extremely proud of our ancestors. She said nothing would give her more pleasure than to come the next time they go and visit the Gladstones.

In return she made us promise to go and visit them at Ingestre, the next time we go in that direction, and added; I should be most happy to invite you to Alton Towers <4> but I am afraid that cannot be just yet. However they seem to have no doubt of the ultimate result though it is likely still to be a long affair; <5> the adverse party having removed the trial from Stafford to Liverpool, & again somewhere else, in order to get the best chance they can – In Staffordshire it would have been given for Ld Shresy <6> directly, because the feeling there is so strongly in his favour. They are still, it appears, on good terms with the D. of Norfolk, <7> and only endeavour to undermine each other in a friendly way! –

Are you really coming back on Thursday or not? because you say nothing of it in your letter today – Many of our neighbours are gone and going, so it gives us a desire to be off too. – Besides it is become very hot once more.

Good bye dear Papa,

Your affectionate daughter

H. F. Talbot Esqre.
Lacock Abbey


1. Rosamond Constance ‘Monie’ Talbot (1837–1906), artist & WHFT’s 2nd daughter. For her letter see Doc. No: 07671.

2. Sarah Elizabeth Chetwynd Talbot, née Beresford, Lady Shrewsbury (1807–1884).

3. Elizabeth Honoria Gladstone, née Bateson (d. 1862), wife of Captain John Neilson Gladstone (1807–1863), MP.

4. Staffordshire. Known as Alton Lodge until 1811 when it was renamed as Alton Abbey during extensive renovations, though having no formal religious connections. It has since been renamed Alton Towers, which it is known as today. [See Doc. No: 02424].

5. She refers to the disputed claim to the Earldom of Shrewsbury, which was eventually settled in the House of Lords in favour of Lord Shrewsbury. [See Doc. No: 07644 and Doc. No: 07312].

6. Henry John Chetwynd Talbot, 18th Earl Shrewsbury, 5th Baron Talbot (1803–1868).

7. Henry Granville Fitzalan-Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk (1815–1860). His family contested the succession to the earldom.

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