Grasmere August 10th
My dear Henry
I write to you again at Calais, believing that as I have not heard from you for a whole fortnight you cannot yet have passed through. Would that you
had been at home at this trying moment for poor Caroline! - <1> In her melancholy letter of yesterday, she said, she did not know how or where to write to you. Oh my poor Henry! my heart bl bleeds to think, that after receiving several cheerful letters from Caroline you would be so wholly unprepared for this calamity.<2> - May you be mercifully supported under it, and enabled to bow with resignation to the will of Him who gives and takes away. - I had always concealed from you my fear for dear dear Horatia - as everyone about her seemed hopeful as to the result, and herself also so very cheerful during the early months, that I scarcely felt justified in giving expression to my vague fears. -
Mlle Amélina is very much distressed and the girls also -<3> we try to be resigned - but so rapidly did she sink, that we can hardly realise the idea that she is indeed, & for ever, gone! It is a consolatory reflection that the latter part of her short illness was free from suffering, &
that her end so very peaceful. - Poor Wright is for the third time called to perform the most melancholy of all duties - and this time for one whom he could little of have expected to survive. - On Caroline's communicating to me dear Horatia's last wishes, I immediately wrote to Wilkins<4> to desire he would be prepared to receive further instructions from Mr Gaisford<5> or from Caroline until your return - and to act accordingly - and I sent a message through him to Mr Matthews.<6> I cannot write on any other subject at present except to say, that all here are well - You will believe how very anxiously I await your next letter. -
I send to Ambleside myself today (being Sunday) to take our letters & to enquire if there is one from you. -
1. Lady Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding (1808- 2 Nov 1881); WHFT's half-sister; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1840–1854 & 1863–1865; m. 3rd Earl Mt Edgcumbe 6 Dec 1831.
2. The death of Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810- 9 August 1851), WHFT's half-sister, who died a fortnight after childbirth.
3. Amélina Petit de Billier, 'Mamie', 'Amandier' (1798- 8 September 1876), governess and later close friend of the Talbot family; Ela Theresa Talbot (25 Apr 1835 - 25 Apr 1893), WHFT's 1st daughter; Rosamond Constance Talbot (16 Mar 1837 - 7 May 1906), 'Rose'; 'Monie'; artist & WHFT's 2nd daughter; died & buried at San Remo, Italy, with a memorial at Lacock; Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, née Talbot (25 Feb 1839-1927), 'Tilly', WHFT's 3rd daughter; m. John Henry Gilchrist-Clark 16 Jun 1859.
4. George Wilkins (b. 1814), gardener at Lacock.
5. Capt Thomas Gaisford (1816-1898), JP, WHFT's brother-in-law.
6. Rev John Matthews, curate of Lacock ca. 1850.