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Document number: 7163
Date: 23 Jul 1855
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: TALBOT Rosamond Constance
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st September 2003

Portishead <1>

July 23d 1855

My dear Papa,

I am afraid you must have suffered much from the heat these last days, for since Saturday the weather has become as stifling and oppressive as ever. Today it is so hazy that the opposite shore is invisible; this is unfortunate as it will prevent our seeing clearly the approach of the Caradoe which is hourly expected. This morning there was a false report that it was coming, so we all hastened to a point from which there is an extensive view of the water, but were disappointed by seeing nothing The alarm was caused by a Mr Fisher, who inhabits a large house not far off, f answering the salute of his schooner, which has just returned from abroad. There is a house called the Down about two miles from here, belonging to Mr Atwood of Ashleworth; <2> poor Mrs Attwood died there last year, and since then it has been let. It is situated on the top of the hill called Black Nore, and has an extensive view of the sea and plenty of wind.

I send you three plants we found growing in the sea mud in our yesterdays walk. Is not the aromatic one something of the nature of Southernwood? – All kinds of flowers seem to do remarkably well here. Moss roses grow in profusion in every cottage garden, and we have seen splendid myrtles, more than six feet high in the open air, apparently unhurt by last winter’s severe frost. Several cottages are covered with vines and fig trees, and things do not appear blighted as they often are at Lacock.

Eupatoria and Anapa seem very happy in their new home and proud at finding themselves in a splendid circular gilt cage. They are much admired and I think will be very well taken care of by their new mistress Mrs Foard.

Everybody here is dreadfully bitten by a large kind of knat, they are much worse even than the Midges at home.

I am afraid if I write any more, I shall only repeat what Mamie <3> has been saying to Mama, <4> so good bye, dear Papa,

your affectionate daughter


Matilda <5> has been writing to Charles <6>


1. Near Bristol, on the estuary of the Severn.

2. Rev Henry Adams Sergison Atwood (1800–1877), author.

3. Amélina Petit De Billier, ‘Mamie’, ‘Amandier’ (1798–1876), governess and later close friend of the Talbot family [See Amélina's journal ].

4. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.

5. Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, ‘Tilly’, née Talbot (1839–1927), WHFT’s 3rd daughter.

6. Charles Henry Talbot (1842–1916), antiquary & WHFT’s only son.

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