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Document number: 9867
Date: 15 Apr 1872
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: TALBOT Rosamond Constance
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number: Acc 22749 [envelope only]
Last updated: 20th April 2012

Bath 15th April

My dear Papa,

How charming it is to have such lovely weather at last! I am glad to say that Mama has been able to go out today in a Bath chair round the Park, but she had looked and complained of being so very unwell last week that we were not at all happy about her. She seemed so utterly weak and prostrate, – However the doctor’s prescriptions of tonics and stimulants, now that she is really following them, seem to be doing good, so I hope she will be all right again presently. But he is very anxious for her to try a little sea air on leaving this, so we are thinking of Weston-Super-Mare for a fortnight, as it is so conveniently near and salubrious.

Charles writes in good spirits from Weymouth. He has met the Noel Mundys there, and we expect them here tomorrow on their way back to Markeaton. We must give them some dinner I suppose. I wonder whether you will be here also.

Jack returns to school on Thursday. Everybody at Speddoch seems flourishing. Are you not glad the police have caught that horrible woman Dix Blanc. <1> Charles says he means to return to Lacock tomorrow, but if you come here I suppose you will miss on the road.

Please to give the enclosed (about cats and carpets!) to Hill.

Your affectionate daughter

H. F. Talbot Esqre.
Lacock Abbey


1. On the morning of 8 April, Mdlle. Riel, a French performer working under the stage name of Madame St Clair at the St James's Theatre in London, found her mother strangled at her residence in exclusive Park Lane. Suspicion immediately fell on her cook, Marguerite Dixblanc, a 25 year old Belgian described as very powerful. She was chased by British detectives and captured in France a week later 'in a low wine shop'. She confessed, but pled provocation. Extradition followed and in June 1872 she was sentenced to death, later commuted to penal servitude for life. She was released from the Woking Convict Prison by the Home Secretary in 1893.

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