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Document number: 05488
Date: 21 Dec 1845
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: JONES Calvert Richard
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA45-177
Last updated: 20th September 2012

Decber 21 1845.

My dear Sir,

I cannot resist writing you a line to say how well I now succeed in Talbotyping, <1> and sincerely trust to be able to bring home a splendid collection.

This however must entirely depend on the Paper I have to work on, as a great deal that Henneman <2> supplied me with is not to be trusted, and I have made numerous failures from those indigenous spots appearing with which you are well acquainted.

Would you therefore be so kind as to exhort him as to the quality of the sheet for which I wrote if it has not yet started, as it is a great pity to lose the opportunity of copying the splendid subjects which are spread in rich variety before me, for want of good materiel.

I am sorry to say that poor Lady C. <3> is not strong enough at present for the Ægyptian expedition and as the reason for going there is wearing away, I think it will be necessarily abandoned for this year. I think it probable that in the course of a couple of months we may go to Sicily, where Messina and Palermo would afford an endless variety of the most splendid subjects.

I shall be delighted to hear from you if you have time and hope to find that your negociations with Mr Brooks <4> have gone on favourably, or that you have a prospect of selling your patent well, which wd perhaps be best: I only wish I knew whether I shd be likely to put my negatives to a mercantile account, as the subjects I shd choose for that purpose wd be different from what I shd select for a private collection of my own.

I shall be extremely obliged if you will tell me whether you have discovered any changes or modifications in proportions or manipulation: pray tell me also whether you continue to like Negatives overdone in appearance.

Though I am rather nervous about it, I think that I had better fix my proofs with Hyposulphate <5> for fear of accidents. Pray tell me what you advise.

I sincerely trust that Bowen and Sandfords <6> late paper has turned out well, as I well know that without them Henneman can do nothing in supplying us, and I believe he gave me the best he had.

M. Bayard <7> wets his paper for the Camera by having a flat pan containing the Liquid, and putting one side of the paper on it, after which he hangs the paper by one corner and lets the superfluous moisture pour back into the pan, I much wish we cd apply this or some other means, in order to obviate the cockling of the paper, which must in some degree occur, while we use brushes.

St Thomas’s day gives hopes of increasing activity in our operations. I wish that I could say that Lady Charlotte is better, but as yet we cannot percieve [sic] any improvement in her symptoms, however we trust that such may be the case.

Yours very sincerely
Calvert R. Jones.

Mrs Calvert Jones writes with me kind remembrances to Mrs Talbot: <8> would you be so very obliging as to ask Henneman to send a copy of the group representing “A Page giving a letter” to our friend Mr Dillwyn, <9> and a copy of the 2 little groups I did at Richmond to Captn Halkett <10> 4th Lt Dragoons Hounslow.


1. Although WHFT modestly prefered the term calotype for his negative process, Jones and a number of others honoured the inventor by using the term Talbotype, in parallel with the designation of the Daguerreotype.

2. Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT’s valet, then assistant; photographer.

3. Lady Charlotte Butler (1809–1846), wife of ‘Kit’ Talbot.

4. Henry Brooks, publisher, stationer and printseller at 87, New Bond St, London. [See Doc. No: 05950].

5. It was possible to defer fixing until later, when more controlled studio conditions were available, but the sensitive paper was liable to decay or accidental exposure to light during travels.

6. Probably paper suppliers. [See Doc. No: 05398].

7. Hippolyte Bayard (1801–1887), photographer and independent inventor of a paper based photographic process.

8. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.

9. John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810–1882), Welsh photographer, JP & High Sheriff.

10. John Thomas Douglas Halkett (1816-1854), who was later to die a hero in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava on 25 October 1854. Jones knew his mother, Lady Katherine Halkett - see Doc. No: 05402. Whilst in the 4th Light Dragoons, Halkett served with Marcus Sparling (1821-1860), who resigned from the service in time to assist Roger Fenton in his photographs of the Crimean War.