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Document number: 3361
Date: 28 Aug 1836
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BREWSTER David
Collection: National Science and Media Museum, Bradford
Collection number: 1937-4817
Last updated: 13th March 2012

My Dear Sir,

I was yesterday favoured with your letter. <1> I set off tomorrow to pay a visit to Mr Guest <2> in South Wales and shall be at Castlecombe <3> about the end of the Week. It will give us the greatest pleasure to accept the kind invitation from the Ladies of your “Ruins Grey”, and to spend a day with you.

Your paper <4> was read by Mr Peacock <5> and received most flatteringly. I was vexed that you had not left with me your Paper on Boracic Acid. <6>

We are all worn out with labours. Excepting two hours at Church this morning I have not had a resting place for my mind since you left us.– The whole business of the meeting has been well carried on, compared with former ones, – and the system of mutual adulation so disgusting at former meetings, was entirely abandoned at our closing meeting last night.

The Book I mentioned to Lady Elizabeth <7> was written by Dr Brigman. It is more a pamphlet than a Book. I beg you will offer my best wishes to the Ladies & Mr Feilding, <8>

and I am My Dear Sir Ever Most Faithfully yrs
D Brewster

16 York Place Clift[on]<9>
Augt 28th 1836

H. F. Talbot Esqr
Lacock Abbey


1. No record of a paper by WHFT on this subject being read at this meeting, but he published several papers ‘On the Optical Phenomena of certain Crystals’: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London v. 127, part 1 (1836), pp. 25–27; v. 127, part 1 (1837), pp. 29–35; Philosophical Magazine s. 3, v. 9, no. 54 (October 1836), pp. 288–91; ‘Facts relating to Optical Science, No. IV’, Philosophical Magazine s. 3, v. 9, no. 56 (December 1836), pp. 401–407; ‘Further Observations on the Optical Phenomena of Crystals’, Royal Society of London Proceedings, v. 3, no. 28 (1836), pp. 455–56; and ‘Extrait d’une lettre de M. Talbot à M. Arago sur les cristaux de borax’, Comptes Rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’ de l’Académie des Sciences, v. 2 (1st semester, 1836), pp. 472–73 [see Doc. No: 06773].

2. Josiah John Guest (1785–1852), FRS, MP for Merthyr, of Dowlais, near Merthyr Tydfil.

3. Castle Combe, Wiltshire, seat of George Julius Duncombe Poulett Scrope (1797–1876), MP & scientist.

4. WHFT, ‘A Brief Account of some Researches in the Integral Calculus’, British Association for the Advancement of Science Report, 1836, s. 2, pp. 1–13.

5. Prof George Peacock (1791–1858), mathematician.

6. No record of this.

7. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.

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

9. Text torn away under seal. Brewster was staying at Clifton for the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which took place at Bristol for a week from 22 August 1836. He had spent a few days at Lacock Abbey immediately before the Bristol meeting, but was unable, after all, to pay a visit after the meeting. [See Doc. No: 03363].

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