link to Talbot Project home page link to De Montfort University home page link to Glasgow University home page
Project Director: Professor Larry J Schaaf

Back to the letter search >

Document number: 6593
Date: 25 Nov 1863
Recipient: DIAMOND Hugh Welch
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: PUBLISHED
Last updated: 5th August 2010

[The original has not been located. This is the version published in The Photographic Journal, v. 9 no. 141, 14 Jan 1864, p. 430.]

Millburn Town, <1> Edinburgh,

Nov. 25, 1863.

"DEAR SIR,- Let me add to what I said before, that I believe I have still at Lacock Abbey the negative of the photograph described by a writer in your Journal as 'undoubtedly the breakfast-table at Etruria Hall. <2>' In that case it will probably have a date endorsed upon it, as that was my usual practice at that time.

"It would be easy to have some new copies printed from it, and distributed to the Members of the Society.

"The Society should retain in its possession the copy of the breakfast-table shown, at its last Meeting; or if this cannot be done, an accurate description or photograph of it should be made, for the sake of comparison.

" I remain,
"Yours very truly,

"H.F. Talbot."

"Dr. Diamond."


1. A type compositor's mis-reading of Millburn Tower, Gogar, just west of Edinburgh; the Talbot family made it their northern home from June 1861 to November 1863. It is particularly important because WHFT conducted many of his photoglyphic engraving experiments there. The house had a rich history. Built for Sir Robert Liston (1742-1836), an 1805 design by Benjamin Latrobe for a round building was contemplated but in 1806 a small house was built to the design of William Atkinson (1773-1839), best known for Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford. The distinctive Gothic exterior was raised in 1815 and an additional extension built in 1821. Liston had been ambassador to the United States and maintained a warm Anglo-American relationship in the years 1796-1800. His wife, the botanist Henrietta Liston, née Marchant (1751-1828) designed a lavish American garden, sadly largely gone by the time the Talbots rented the house .

2. See Doc. No: 06526.