Novr 17 - 1830
Before I enter on the subject of this letter, allow me to entreat an attentive perusal of its Contents -
On the death of my late Husband Chas Trimnell (which happen'd nearly two years ago) I found myself Appointed Sole Executrix under his Will and on looking over his Books and Papers, I discover'd the Copy of a letter which he had written to you at Lacock Abbey, after gaining information from - Pitt Esqr M. P. <1> near Cirencester, where to address you but no answer was return'd to him. - it was in referrence [sic] to a Claim he had on your late father's Estate the duty now devolves on me to explain the nature of my late Husband's Claim and I will endeavour to do so, in the clearest manner I can and I trust it will be satisfactory to you. The acct having been sent different times to your late father, (among whose Papers it most likely may be met with) & who also wrote a note to my late Husband which also I will enclose, with a letter sent to Mrs Barbara Davenport, <2> then residing in St James's Square Bath. should the hand writing of the Note appear uncertain to yourself, I should feel thankful if you would do me the kindness to shew the same to Lady Elizabeth Fielding, <3> who will no doubt give you satisfaction on that head, and I sincerely assure you Sir not any Part of the debt has yet been reciev'd [sic]. My late Husband has written to you <4> twice on the subject since you arrived at the Age of 21 years, and which it appears likely could not have been recevd by you otherwise would have been replied to, as the debt was contracted on your own Acc tho' not born. it was for fitting up
a Rooms for your expected birth at [ill. del.] Lacock Abbey, but was given to understand previous to Lady Elizabeth Talbots accouchment [sic], she removd into Dorsetshire where she gave birth to her first and only Child by her first Husband Mr Talbot at a proper time after your the death of your father my late Husband applied for payment of his acct amounting to £68ּּ2ּּ2ּ - for Articles furnish'd as before mention'd, but he was inform'd Lady Elizabeth you Mother (now Lady Elizabeth Fielding) had placed her late Husband's affairs in Chancery therefore none of the debts would be paid until you his only Son, should come to the Ag of 21 years. My Husband's many years infirmity and engagements in business accounts for his not having renew'd his application' and now Sir, after a lapse of 30 years, I beg leave Respectfully to profer My Claim, and I appeal to you as the Representative of your late Father's that Justice which Candour & Honor must Award the high and Honorable Character I have of you from report, assures me my Appeal will not be in vain, inasmuch as the claim I now advance, can be clearly & satisfactorily prov'd to Exist.
I now Sir, leave it in your Hands, without doubting your giving it a serious Consideration and vouchsafing me an early reply, which is to me most desirable. remaining Sir your
very obedt Servt
Executrice to Chas Trimnell
will you please to direct for me at Mr Moonn's
17 Westgate St
Copy of a letter taken from the late Charles Trimnell's Book and was sent to Mrs Barbara Davenport then residing in St James's Square Bath
"In answer to some questions you ask'd me respecting the late Mr Talbot I think it best to commit my answers to you in writing which I have done as follows.-
In the beginning of January 1801 - having heard Lady Elizabeth Talbot was in Bath, I waited on her Ladyship then in Sidney Place, but did not see her. but was desired to call again the next day. I did so, but she declind seeing me then herself, I then name'd to you the business I came upon was respecting a debt due to myself and Brother for furniture and work done at Lacock Abbey - being then inform'd that nothing could be done in it, as the goods there was to go with the Estate to the Infant Child of the late departed. I then Observ'd the Personal effects must go to the Payment of the debts of the deceasd and if the Next of Kin did not take out letter of Administration, I would apply in behalf of Myself and other Creditors. The next morn'g Lord Illchester <5> (father of Lady Elizabeth Talbot) Personally call'd at my House 19 in Westgate St and after some conversation he hoped I had not done anything respecting administering, as there was to be a Meeting of the families in Bath the next week to consult about settling the Affairs. I then said to his Lordship if an Inventory was to be taken, I hoped to be employ'd to do it, he said you certainly Ought to be, and after the families had Met he would call on me again, which he did in a few days, and then told me a Meeting had taken Place, that Lady Elizabeth Talbot was going to take out letters of Administration. his Lordship then fix'd for my going to Lacock Abbey to take an Inventory and Valuation of the Goods, Books etc that was there, and fixd for My going there the 21 of Jany for my going there. on the day previous I receiv'd a Message to call at his Lordship's Lodgins in [Puttney?] St. to take my Orders from Mr Field his Lordship's Steward, who gave me an Inventory of Articles left in Possesion [sic] of Lady Shrewsbury.<6> Mr Field met me at Lacock Abbey the next morn'g and while I was proceeding with Inventory Mr Field was having the packages remov'd from the tower at Lacock Abbey, which he sent in a cart to Bath the same day on my return to Bath I forwarded a Copy of Particulars - I remain
Madam your Obedt Servt
Jany 26 1806
To Mrs Davenport <7>
St James's Square
To Henry Fox Talbot Esqr
1. Probably Joseph Pitt, MP.
3. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773-1846); WHFT's mother.
4. Letters not located.
5. Henry Thomas Fox Strangways (1747-1802).
6. Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury (d. 1810); widow of the 14th Earl. She was related to WHFT's father and was lessee of Lacock Abbey from 1795-1810. WHFT's father, William Davenport Talbot, his mother, Lady Elisabeth, and Barbara Davenport all resided at the Abbey at various times during her tenancy.
7. This is the address panel for the enclosure.