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Document number: 836
Date: 02 Dec 1818
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BONNEY Thomas Kaye
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA18-46
Last updated: 29th January 2012

Normanton <1> nr Stamford,
Decr 2nd 1818

My dear Sir,

So many Circumstances both of a public & private nature have occurred to draw away my Attention, since I had the Pleasure of receiving your Letter, <2> that I was not aware so much Time had elapsed without my answering it. Of the former, none gave me so much Distress, as the violent and shocking Death of Sir Samuel Romilly. <3> I had an enthusiastic Admiration of that Man, and could not for many Days and Nights get out of my mind the melancholy Scene. Mr Hobhouse, the Burdettite <4> Candidate, is well known at Trinity. <5> -

I think the Change in your Lecturers, from Sedgewick to Whewell, <6> must be advantageous to you and all the others on your Side. I was never very fond of Sedgewick; and Whewell, when I was at Cambridge, was much esteemed, & highly thought of for abilities &c. -

Your Tour during the Summer must have been very pleasant: I wish I could have accompanied you. I am anxious to see the north-western Part of Northumberland & Cumberland. Lee has a Living at St. John's Lee near Hexham. -<7>

Mr Feilding <8> called upon me yesterday: he has just arrived from Sprodborough [sic] at Burley, & after paying a Visit at Lord Lonsdale's <9> & Mr Vane Powlett's <10> intends to call upon you at Cambridge on his way to London. - Young Copley <11> is still at Harrow. <12> My Brother, I hear, saw you the week before last, & of course gave a better Account of my Mother & the Family at Cliffe than I would do, who have not been there since July. My Sister is with me, and desires to be remembered to you. -

As the Term is now approaching very fast to an End, I conclude you will be thinking of leaving the University for a short Time, unless you intend to try again for an University-Scholarship. Have you a private Tutor in Mathematics? Or do you find that you get into the Cambridge or Senate House-Method of doing Questions sufficiently well without one? I begin to feel very anxious that you should be at the Top.

Our Noble Neighbour, the Earl of Harborough, <13> has been acting very foolishly: He has been fighting a Duel with Lord Wallscourt, <14> & losing a great Deal of Money at Play. -

Mr Heathcote <15> & his two Brothers are here, & have been several weeks. -

Accept my best wishes, & believe me, my dear Sir, Yr's [sic] most sincerely,
T. K. Bonney.

W. H. F. Talbot Esqre


1. Normanton, Rutlandshire.

2. Letter not located.

3. Sir Samuel Romilly (1757-1818), English legal reformer. [See Doc. No: 00831].

4. John Cam Hobhouse (1786-1869), politician who in 1819 was encouraged to stand for the seat of Westminster by his friend, Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844), radical MP. He was finally elected in 1820. Burdett's views on radical law reform were similar to Romilly's.

5. Trinity College, Cambridge.

6. Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), Professor of Geology at Cambridge, and Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor and natural philosopher.

7. Rev. Charles Lee, priest of the Church of St. John in the village of Lee, near Hexham.

8. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780-1837), Royal Navy; WHFT's step-father.

9. William Lowther (1757-1844), 1stEarl of Lonsdale.

10. Later, 3rd Duke of Cleveland (1792-1864).

11. Probably related to Sir Joseph Copley, 3rd Baronet (d. 1838), of Sprotborough Hall.

12. Harrow School: WHFT attended from 1811-1815 and his son Charles from 1855-1859.

13. Robert Sherard, Earl of Harborough (1797-1859), owner of Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

14. Joseph Henry, 3rd Baron Wallscourt (1797-1849).

15. Probably William Henry Heathcote (1797-1851); his brothers were Edward Lionel Heathcote (d. 1875) and Gilbert John Heathcote, 1st Baron Aveland (1795-1867).

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