My dear Henry
Your Mama <2> sent me your direction the other day in answer to some enquiries I had made about you, so I shall write you a few lines for if they shd not amuse you, they will only cost you the trouble of putting them into the fire, I have been at Melbury for a week but am sorry to say I am to return to Weymouth tomr as P–ss Charlotte <3> is to set out in a few days for Cranbourn Lodge <4> –
I never saw this Place appear to so little advantage not a flower is to be seen not even in the Hot House or Green House, & all dismal & wet out of Doors Ld & Ly I– <5> are well so is your aunt Susan <6>, Ly George <7>, & Henry Murray <8> are here, & John Strangways <9> came yesterday for his holidays, as his Mother <10> is obliged to go with Pss C– & will not be at Abbotsbury <11> this Winter which is a great disappointment to them all – Wm Strangways <12> comes tomr from Bowood <13> & is to remain here till he returns to Oxford – Giles <14> sail’d last Saturday for France to join his Regt the 7th Dragoons –
The Framptons <15> are at Weymouth & to stay there the Winter on act of James’s <16> health, he is getting better but still it must take a long time to recover him quite – I have now told you all I know of your relations in this part of the World & I Want to know something about you, how you like your situation <17> & what you do to amuse yourself & if you have any companions about your own age – I suppose you hear frequently from Jane Talbot <18>, Kit <19> & Wm Payne <20> are at Penrice <21> just now – since I began this Wm has arrived a day sooner than we expected he left all well at Bowood Ld L– <22> & the Family go to London in a few days –
This is a stupid letter but it will at least tell you that your friends are well I wish I cd send you some thing to entertain you – If you give me a line you had best enclose to your uncle Harry<23> as it is uncertain when I shall be at Cranbourn & he will forward it where ever I am –
God bless you my dear Henry believe me very truly your affectionate
alias A Campbell
Sherborne, Decr. Twenty one,
W. H. F. Talbot Esqr
Revd. Mr. Barnes
1. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
2. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
3. Princess Charlotte Augusta (1796–1817). Mrs Campbell had been a member of her household since 1805. See Louisa Charlotte Frampton, ‘Princess Charlotte and Mrs Campbell’, The Gentleman’s Magazine, n.s. v. 27, September 1876, pp. 275-289.
4. Cranbourne Lodge, in Windsor Park, where a household was set up for Princess Charlotte in 1814.
5. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858), and Caroline Leonora Fox Strangways, née Murray, Countess of Ilchester (1788–1819).
6. Susannah Sarah Louisa O’Brien, née Strangways (1743–1827), WHFT’s great aunt.
7. Lady Anne Charlotte Murray, née Grant (d. 1844).
8. Henry Murray (1800–31), 5th and youngest son of the Rev Lord George Murray; brother of the Countess of Ilchester.
9. John George Charles Fox Strangways (1803–1859), MP.
10. Juliana Maria Strangways, née Digby (d. 1842). Appointed Lady-in-waiting to Princess Charlotte in 1814.
11. Abbotsbury, Dorset: home of William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways.
12. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.
13. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
14. Giles Digby Robert Fox Strangways (1798–1827).
15. Lady Harriet Frampton, née Fox Strangways (1778-1844) and family.
17. In November 1815, WHFT went as a pupil to the Rev Barnes at Castleford, near Ferrybridge, Yorks.
18. Jane Harriot Nicholl, née Talbot (1796–1874).
19. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
20. Sir William Payne Gallwey (1807-1881), 2nd Bart., son of Lt Gen Sir William Payne Gallwey (1759-1831), 1st Bart, and Lady Harriet Payne Gallwey (1784-1845), née Quin.
21. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
22. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863), MP, WHFT’s uncle.
23. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858).