Kensington Gravel pits<1>
Novr 17th 1841
I never should on any occasion of my own have presumed on the slender acquaintance I have with you to ask a favour: but I enclose a note which will Speak for itself. I dare say you know enough of Sir Francis Palgrave<2> to understand his considering himself priviledged [sic] in his various qualities – lawyer, Antiquary, Man of literature & dabbler in the fine arts to ask whatsoever questions he pleases of whomsoever can answer them. And as he generally puts such answers as he gets to a good use – & is I verily believe a really good man & I am sure a steady friend having known him for nearly thirty years I have true pleasure in forwarding his note however ill entitled I may feel to recommend another to your kindness having so much need of recommendation myself. – I should like to be empowered by you to desire Sir Francis to wait upon you which he would be enchanted to do. –
With Compliments from Sir Augustus<3> I am dear sir Your obliged & Obedt
Maria Callcott. –
1. Kensington Gravel Pits was a pleasant village just south of present day Notting Hill Gate in London. It had an active artistic community which soon drew Maria in. The home of the widowed author became a centre for the intellectual community and it was there that she got to know her second husband, the famous landscape painter Sir Augustus Callcott (1779-1844); they were married in 1827.
2. Enclosure not located. Sir Francis Palgrave (1788–1861), historian; Deputy Keeper of the Public Record Office from its founding in 1838.
3. Her husband.