My dear Henry
I received your bit of a letter yesterday when I arrived here Mamma <2> did not return to Melbury <3> but I believe she intends going there for a day if Uncle Harry <4> is at home before we leave Dorsetshire entirely You have found out those anagrams quite right. You shall have the solutions when you are tired of trying to find the rest out On the third we were agreeably surprised by Capt Cole’s <5> coming to Deans Leaze <6> he did not stay above an hour as he was in a great hurry to get to London that night. Pray send me a longer letter next time you write. Dear little Car & Horatia <7> how I should like to see them again it seems such a long time since I was at Malvern <8> with them & so it is for the last time I saw them was on the 5th of October so it is four months
to today, I am glad that they are safe in Sackville Street <9> now for it must have been deplorable at Malvern in the winter. Isabella & Emma <10> write to us very often & such droll letters, you would laugh at the odd way they write copying some from a printed book and the rest from their copy books, they are at Clifton & hoping & wishing to go home saying that they are quite tired of Clifton,<11> but that they are never tired of Penrice. <12> Jane <13> sends her love to you, & so does your Aunt Mary. Kit <14> is not gone back to school yet his holidays ended on the 1st. give my love to your Mamma <15> Caroline & Horatia when when [sic] you see them. Mr Feilding is at Moreton <16>
Aunt Harriet Acland <17> goes to Moreton to-day. I am your affte cousin
I hope it will not be long now before we shall have the happiness of finding ourselves at home again for I believe it is almost done.
I was very sorry & I am sure you will be very sorry too to hear<18> of the death of our dear friend Mrs Hunt who died the 27th
W H Fox Talbot
Stinsford Febry 5th 1813.
1. Stinsford, Dorsetshire, 2 mi E of Dorcester.
2. Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt.
3. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
4. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858).
5. Sir Christopher Cole (1770–1836), Captain, MP & naval officer.
6. Deans Leaze, Dorset.
7. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister and Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.
8. Malvern, or Great Malvern, 9 mi SW of Worcestershire.
9. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.
10. Isabella Catherine Franklen, née Talbot (1804–1874) and Emma Thomasina Llewelyn, née Talbot (1806–1881), photographer; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
11. Text torn away under seal.
12. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
13. Jane Harriot Nicholl, née Talbot (1796–1874).
14. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
15. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
16. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father, and Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
17. Lady Harriot Acland (1750-1815), Christiana Henrietta Caroline, née Fox Strangways. She later became famous for rescuing her wounded husband during the American War of Independence.
18. Text torn out under seal.