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Document number: 05966
Date: 22 Jun 1847
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: REEVES Thomas, jnr
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA47-57
Last updated: 19th May 2013

41 University Street
June 22nd 1847


Having this day being [sic] informed by Mr Heneman [sic]<1> that you refused to fulfil your engagement to employ me in your Photographic establishment in Regent Street, although you instructed Mr Heneman to engage me at 30s per week for one month certain, to commence as soon as the rooms were finished, which I saw and was informed by Mr Heneman was done about a month since. As to the reasons for forfeiting your engagement with me mentioned by Mr Heneman I deny the truth of any one of them. I never offered any process for sale or offered to teach a method of evading your patent of [sic] any thing of the kind. The real facts of the case, which I suppose gave rise to the misrepresentation, are these. – Mr Nickel of Chancery Lane, had being [sic] making some experiments in his Chambers there,<2> on some paper which he said was as sensitive as the Dagarreotype [sic], prepared with the Neutral bromide of iodine; he informed me, in a note, he had written to Mr Claudet<3> offering to equal his plates with paper. Mr Claudet wrote to him informing him of illegible deletion a morning when he should have an opportunity of his making his experiments. He Mr N. informed me of it, and requested me to accompany him and render some assistance; I did so, being desirious [sic] to see his pretentions [sic] tested with good apparatus. The fact of my being at Claudets, and the result, I informed you myself of; I also showed you specimens, and informed you how they were obtained; and telling you the truth in all respects. You expressed yourself satisfied, but would not finally engage me until you had called on Dr Hatfield. <4> You did call on him that day and expressed yourself satisfied to him. You then instructed Mr Heneman to inform me the reference was satisfactory and forthwith I was engaged. I have since called in Regent Street several times and was informed I should be required in about a fortnight. I have now kept myself wholly disengaged for about two months in consequence of my engagement with you, expecting weekly to hear I was required, but to my great surprise I was informed to day for the first time what I have before stated. I therefore apply to you for one months Salary, which is £6, or to be employed in your Establishment in Regent Street for the month, at thirty shillings per week as agreed on between us, as the only compensation I can claim for the two months time I have lost, as well as other inconveniences, expences, and missing of opportunities I have incurred.

Hoping I may receive a satisfactory reply from you on or before the Tuesday the 29th Instant.

I have the honor to be Your Obedt Servt
T. Reeves

F. Talbot Esqr.


1. Nicolaas Henneman (1813-1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT's valet, then assistant; photographer; opened calotype printing studio in Reading in 1843 and transferred to London in 1848.

2. Nickle was then an uncommon surname, so this might have been a phonetic spelling for Nicoll or Nicholl. However, none were known on Chancery Lane around this time. Possibly William Norris Nicholson, Barrister, of 44 Chancery Lane?

3. Antoine François Jean Claudet (1797-1867), French-born scientist, merchant & photographer, resident in London.

4. Possibly Dr Richard Barker Hatfield, physician, then of 41, Cleveland St, Fitzroy Sq, London.