2d January 1846
My Dear Henry
I wish I knew your intentions, because of course it makes a great difference in my pleasure going to Brighton with you or by ourselves. In the month of November you went quite into a way because you thought & accused me of having given up the scheme which I really never had, only wished it deferred. I shall be in town the 9th in my way to Broadlands, as I have not my carriage here, I cannot go across the Country. Horatia <1> is at Bowood, <2> they have had par extraordinaire a very pleasant Party. I suppose you know the great event viz: that Constance <3> is going with me to night to Mrs Heneage’s <4> Ball where we shall meet Horatia & a large party from Bowood, and tomorrow the christening of the new offset of the House of Howard. <5> I am Godmother, & Constance assists at the beau Spectacle. <6> I hope you will try the new Paper from Paris, <7> I am very curious to know if you think it as much better as Mr Calvert Jones <8> seems to do.
Constance is extremely busy preparing the Bohemian Xmas Tree. It is made from Caroline’s <9> description of those she saw in Germany
They were very much puzzled at Bowood by Macaulay’s <10> Letter – It seemed not intended for publication by internal evidence & yet he could not mean to write anything confidential to a Chamber of Commerce!! However he is coming there to day, so I suppose it will be explained. When I was at Bowood last week, Mr Ellice ( Lord Grey’s <11> Uncle) came there, & it amused me much to see the resentment of some Whigs, because Lord Grey had dashed the cup from their lips. Lord L. <12> is decidedly glad to be out of the scrape & Louisa <13> overjoyed that he is so.
Why Lord John <14> thought Lord
John Grey <15> of such consequence I cannot imagine. He is certainly a clever man but not indispensible [sic]. I am so glad Nicole <16> has succeeded at last with the Prince of Wales! <17> Caroline goes into waiting in February, but it only lasts a fortnight, so she must make the most of her opportunities auprès de sa majesté <18>
H. Fox Talbot Er
31. Sackville Street
1. Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.
2. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
3. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
4. Harriet, née Webber, the wife of George Walker-Heneage (1799-1875), of Compton Bassett, Wiltshire.
5. Louisa Fitzmaurice (d. 1906), daughter of Lady Louisa Emma Fitzmaurice to James Kenneth Howard (1814–1882).
6. Charming show.
8. Rev Calvert Richard Jones (1802–1877), Welsh painter & photographer.
9. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.
10. Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859), MP & historian.
11. Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845), statesman.
12. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863), MP, WHFT’s uncle.
13. Louisa Emma Petty Fitzmaurice, née Fox Strangways, Marchioness of Lansdowne (1785-1851), wife of Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1837-1838; WHFT's aunt.
15. Written in another hand.
16. Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT’s valet, then assistant; photographer.
18. In Her Majesty’s presence.