My dear Henry – I am very grateful for the puzzles & your note & happy to find we are likely to see you soon that on the Catholic question <1> is as undecideable as the question itself. Sir Charles <2> guesses the answer to Queen Elisabeth <3> to be that she loved Essex & he x, s, is that right? – we found out the two last but not the crown of pearls – pray send us some more and tell us these, that is tell one at least for I have not the shadow of an idea about their meaning
Give my love to Caroline & Horatia <4> – it is funny how we always come after them every where I had much rather meet them for everybody is always so full of their praises it seems as if we had just come the day after the fair last time we were at Melbury <5> they had just left it & I suppose that will be the case again. If I thought we had seen enough of each other to make it no task to them I should very much like to hear what they saw and liked best in these parts but I have too bad a character as a correspondent to venture to propose myself as such – so I had better wait till I have had time & opportunity to get myself more into their good graces which you see I have the confidence & expect time & opportunity would inevitably do.
Your affectionate cousin
Penryn Novr nine 1828 Chris<pr?> Cole <6>
W.H. Fox Talbot Esqr
1. Catholic emancipation, the achievement of full civil rights for Roman Catholics, including the right to sit in Parliament. This was conceded in 1829 after Daniel O’Connell (1775–1847), was elected MP.
2. Sir Charles Lemon (1784–1868), politician & scientist; WHFT’s uncle.
3. Misspelling of Elizabeth I (1558–1603), Queen of England.
4. 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.
5. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
6. Sir Christopher Cole (1770–1836), Captain, MP & naval officer.