My dear Henry
You well deserve a full account of the wedding <2> for the charming letters you have written – I can’t tell you how glad we were to see your handwriting again – it was a feast to our eyes & I doubt not had any of them been sore would have cured them immediately as the old saying is – They were married on the 14th for it was put off a few days because Jane was so poorly – the weather was as bad as possible – a torrent of rain so that we were wet in only getting through the churchyard notwithstanding carpets & umbrellas there were a great number of people come to see but they were very quiet for we had sent to beg there might be no firing as the custom is – there were present my uncle Charles <3> who performed the ceremony – Aunt Strangways Sir John & Lady Nicholl – Mr Lemon & Aunt Charlotte & little Charles – Sir CC Mama <4> & all of us – & Maryanne Shakespear, <5> she has been staying some time with us & desired me to remember her kindly to you Kit <6> gave Jane away. – Jane went away about two o’clock & got to Margam <7> that day & the next they went to Wenvoe, a very nice house near Cardiff – there they stayed a fortnight & now are with us here again – in a few days we are to go to Merthyrmawr <8> (Sir John Nicholl’s) & about the beginning of February we are to go to Bath for Mama for she has been frequently poorly again of late, & we hope it will do her the same good as before – when we leave home, Jane & Mr Nicholl are to pay visits in Dorsetshire & then they talk of going abroad for a short time, they are to live in London. – It was a sad parting as you may suppose – but it is a loss that will be more felt afterwards than at first – we have all grown up so much together that the hole in our comfort will be many years filling up – & even then – but there is no end to complainings if once I begin Mary <9> & Mama must I know feel her loss so much more yet how well they bear it – we could not have parted with her to a person we liked better – I believe you know him – and all his family are such good people as well as pleasant that I can’t help feeling rather obliged to Jane for making them our relations –
Your description of Nice made Kit lo[ng to]<10> be there but Mama does not admire the olive trees or Bamboos nor does she approve of your filling the snug corner with so ugly a thing as the prickly pear – we will take great care of any seeds you will send us – your hyacinths blew when alas we were not here to see them
I am just beginning to learn German of a Governess we have for Bella & Emma <11> & am very glad to hear your favorable report of it. Pray tell me what books you recommend & what you have read & mind I have a long list for perhaps some of them may be not to be had in England –
Pray tell me how you all do when you write & give my love to all – we are all pretty well & Jane a great deal better – Aunt C &c. stayed with us about two months this last autumn & about two months more in lodgings at Swansea,
to coming continually to see us & we going as often to see them – it was very pleasant – they are now at Bowood <12> – the Framptons <13> have all had the measles & are nearly well again
Your affectionate Cousin
W. H. F. Talbot Esqr
at Capt Feildings
1. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
2. The wedding of Jane Harriot Nicholl, née Talbot (1796–1874), and Dr John Nicholl (1797–1853), MP, that took place on 14 December 1821.
3. Probably the Rev the Hon Charles Redlynch Strangways, uncle of Lady Elisabeth Feilding, great-uncle of Charlotte.
4. Probably the wife of the Rev the Hon Charles Redlynch Strangways; parents of John Nicholl; Sir Charles Lemon (1784–1868), politician & scientist; WHFT’s uncle, and Lady Charlotte Anne Lemon, née Strangways (d. 1826), WHFT’s aunt, and their son Charles Lemon (1816–1826); Sir Christopher Cole (1770–1836), Captain, MP & naval officer, and Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt.
5. Mary Anne Thackeray, née Shakespear (1793–1850).
6. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
7. Margam Park, Glamorgan: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
8. Merthyr Mawr, Glamorgan, on River Ogwr.
9. Mary Thereza Talbot (1795–1861), WHFT’s cousin.
10. Text torn away under seal.
11. Isabella Catherine Franklen, née Talbot (1804–1874), and Emma Thomasina Llewelyn, née Talbot (1806–1881), photographer, WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
12. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
13. Lady Harriet Frampton, née Fox Strangways (d. 1844) and her husband James Frampton (1769–1855), High Sheriff.