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Document number: 02725
Date: 23 Jul 1833
Recipient: FEILDING Charles
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA(H)33-013
Last updated: 1st September 2003


23d July 1833

My Dear Mr F.

I certainly did not mean that you should pay Dominico <1> 12s but only reimburse him the expenses of the Customhouse which appear to have been 5/6. I have not time to write much at length as we are going to see the Rigi <2> & the char is waiting at the door. Mlle <3> begs me to say she wrote a long letter to Horatia <4> last Sunday & put it in the post at Meyringhen – We have been without news from England since we left Berne, but on our arrival here we found in Galignani <5> a profusion of interesting intelligence – The news from London comes up to the day before the Lords <6> had to decide on the Irish Church Bill, <7> but leaves us there, without mentioning the result, which is tantalizing. Francesco <8> left us when we arrived at Berne, without assigning any particular reason, we thought him a good servant. I then took Antonio Baletti <9> who does very well. It is surprising how many new houses have been built at Berne Thun & Interlacken <sic>, the latter especially now professes 5 or 6 immense Pensions, <10> which are not however much frequented, the speculation seems to have failed.

Lucerne has recently been the theatre of 2 great events, for small events are great to little towns.

The first was an incendie <11> on the 12 June owing to a woman setting fire to a row of straw hats, see the disadvantage <of the Lucer>noise <12> costume! and refusing to open the door, <thinking she?> could put it out herself. Several houses were burnt down & the whole town in great danger – The authorities brought out cannon and fired 100 shot against the house & the neighbouring ones till they fell down. The shot that missed went into the lake and only 1 man was killed by them. The whole country was aroused by the cannonade in the dead of night, & came flocking with arms in their hands to suppress the supposed Revolution. Signal fires were lighted all over the country –

The other event was the other day when the people of this canton <13> rejected the new constitution when put to the vote (<univers>al suffrage) by a majority of 12,000–7000 which has confounded the government who are liberals, & all the parti du mouvement, <14> who attribute it to the priests, & are going to have the vote taken over again, which I think not fair.

Yours afftly

Henry Talbot

M. le Capitaine Feilding

31 Sackville St


1. A servant.

2. Northern end of Lake Lucerne, principal lake of central Switzerland.

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

4. Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.

5. Galignani’s Messenger, a newspaper that had a wide circulation among English residents on the Continent.

6. The House of Lords.

7. See Doc. No: 02602, Doc. No: 02600, Doc. No: 02624.

8. A servant.

9. Antonio Baletti, servant.

10. Lodgings where person lives as a boarder.

11. A fire.

12. Text obscured by seal.

13. Name given to each of the 23 states comprising the Swiss Confederation.

14. The party of progress, the progressive party.