Cranbourne Lodge <1>
My dear Henry
It is a long time since you desired me to give you an account of your Peoples & I have often intended to do so, but my time is very much taken up by writing to Persons I don’t know, or care about, ever since Pss Cs Marriage <2> has been declared all discriptions of Men & Women have applied for Places in her Establishment, heaps of petitions from others in distress, & quantities of letters of congratulation so that we are tired out
of with writing answers, & have no time for our own Friends – I have not heard from your Mama <3> for ten days, but Louisa <4> says she is well – Lady Mary <5> & the family from Penrice <6> have been at Oxford for a week & are to arrive at their Palace of Dirt this day – No 11 Berkeley Sqre <7> where you saw them last year – I heard of them today from Wm Strangways <8> who wrote to his Mother, <9> poor William’s inclination does not go to the Law, & yet there does not seem any other Profession for him, & something he must do to enable him to live – he is not in spirits nor quite well – Giles <10> is very happy with his Regt at a village in France near Bolougne [sic], & John <11> at Westminster. Ld & Ly Lansdowne <12> intend to go abroad in June – Charlotte & Mr Lemon & their two Children are well at Deans Leaze <13> they also talk of going abroad, but I hope it will end in talk – your uncle Harry & Ly I <14> – are still at Melbury <15> & their two little dears – Theresa <16> is not well which keeps me unhappy for I have not loved any child so much since your days <17> – I then determined never to love another as well, I felt so much at parting from you, & I kept my resolution – till that Winter when I was snow’d up with her unfortunately – Lady Susan <18> is now gone back to Stinsford <19> having passed the Winter at Melbury – her spirits are very low at returning to her solitary Home – Miss Whitwich is with her at present – Mr & Mrs Strangways, <20> Susan & Fanny are at Bath – on their way to Clifton, <21> poor Fanny broke a blood vessel some weeks ago & is ordered to Clifton, Harry Strangways <22> is to be ordained on Sunday next, & will then join them as both Mr & Mrs S– are very poorly – Tom Strangways <23> is at Woolwich & hopes to get leave of absence to go to them soon – The Framptons <24> are still at Weymouth on account of poor James, who is sometimes better but it seldom lasts – his case is a very bad one I fear – George Strangways <25> is to go to Sandhurts [sic] College this Spring as the Army is to be his profession, Henry Murray <26> has left that & has got a Como in the Guards & now on duty in London – This is all I can recollect respecting your Relations – & now I suppose you will expect some account of Royalty but I have little to tell, I have not seen Prince Leopold <27> as I did not attend P–ss C– to Brighton, but if all I hear of him is true he is a Peerless Prince – His Picture is very handsome, he is musical – & very fond of Botany, & agriculture, & of the Country, I hope he may inspire Pss C– with some of his tastes – for except music she has no resource, which is a great misfortune tho’ one of which she is not aware <28> – Report says the marriage is to take place before Easter but I hope it may not, as I am not well, & neither Ly Ilchester or myself are prepared owing to its not being settled – how it is to be arranged; the Establishment is not yet appointed, but that Pss C– does not interfere in – the only request she has made is to retain me & that the P– Regent <29> granted – but till I know what my situation is to be, & what will be required of me I can not judge whether I shall be able to hold it – I am however very grateful for the kindness & affect I have uniformly experienced from Her Royal Highness ever since I have been with her – she often enquires for you – & so does the Duke of Kent <30> when he sees me – he is going to live at Brussels for three years to pay off debts – I have nothing to amuse you but as you are at so great a distance you may like to have this detail of your Relations – It is is very long since I saw you my dear Henry, I suppose when we next meet, I shall have to look up to you as I do to most of my young Friends – The two young Neaves were here today from Eton tall thin young Men –
God bless you my dear Henry from your affect
Hy Fox Talbot Esqr
Revd Mr Barnes
London March twenty five 1816 Auckland <31>
1. In Windsor Park. A household had been set up here for Princess Charlotte in July 1814.
2. Princess Charlotte Augusta (1796–1817), became engaged to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg in the Spring of 1816, and the marriage took place in May of that year.
3. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
4. Louisa Emma Petty Fitzmaurice, née Fox Strangways, Marchioness of Lansdowne (1785-1851), wife of Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1837-1838; WHFT's aunt.
5. Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt.
6. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
7. Rented accommodation in London. The state of cleanliness of rented houses crops up quite frequently in the Correspondence.
8. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat. He appears to have graduated from Oxford in 1816.
9. Juliana Maria Strangways, née Digby (d. 1842).
10. Giles Digby Robert Fox Strangways (1798–1827).
11. John George Charles Fox Strangways (1803–1859), MP, at Westminster School.
12. Louisa Emma Petty Fitzmaurice, née Fox Strangways, Marchioness of Lansdowne (1785-1851), Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1837-1838, WHFT's aunt; and her husband Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863), MP, WHFT’s uncle.
13. Lady Charlotte Anne Lemon, née Strangways (d. 1826), WHFT’s aunt and Sir Charles Lemon (1784–1868), politician & scientist; WHFT’s uncle, and their children Augusta and Charles, both of whom were to die as children, lived at Deans Leaze, Dorset.
14. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858) and Caroline Leonora Fox Strangways, née Murray, Countess of Ilchester (1788–1819).
15. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
16. Theresa Anna Maria Digby, née Fox Strangways (1814–1874), WHFT’s cousin.
17. WHFT was evidently a particular pet of Mrs Campbell, and it may well have been he who was responsible for her nickname ‘Tam’, for he spent much of his early childhood at his grandfather’s home with his young half-uncles.
18. Susannah Sarah Louisa O’Brien, née Strangways (1743–1827), WHFT’s great aunt.
19. Lady Susan O’Brien’s home near Dorchester.
20. The Rev the Hon Charles Redlynch Fox Strangways (1761–1836), rector of Rewe, Devon, of Maiden Newton, Dorset, and of Kilmington, Somerset, and his wife Jane. Susan and Fanny, their daughters (Susannah and Frances), are mentioned frequently in the Correspondence.
21. Clifton, Bristol, on the Avon Gorge.
22. The Rev Henry Fox Strangways (1793–1860), rector of Rewe, Devon; younger son of the Rev the Hon Charles Redlynch Fox Strangways.
23. Lt Col Thomas Fox Strangways (1790-1854), a cousin of WHFT's mother, Lady Elisabeth Feilding and the son of her uncle Charles. He was grievously wounded at the battle of Waterloo but recovered unexpectedly and continued his military career. At the rank of Brigadier-General, he was killed in the Crimean War at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
25. George Fox Strangways (1802– ca.1849), a career military man, he rose to the rank of Captain in the 7th Infantry Regiment. He was a son of the Rev the Hon Charles Redlynch Fox Strangways. [Biographical information for George Fox Strangways from a family manuscript, Pedigree of Strangways of Melbury Sampford and Abbotsbury, courtesy Dave Morris].
26. Henry Murray (1800–1831), 5th and youngest son of the Rt Rev Lord George Murray; brother of the Countess of Ilchester.
27. Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg (1795–1865), who was to marry Princess Charlotte in May 1816.
28. Mrs Campbell was fully conscious of the Princess’s shortcomings and was reported as having considered that ‘it was well that she was never Queen of England’. See Louisa Charlotte Frampton, ‘Princess Charlotte and Mrs Campbell’, The Gentleman’s Magazine, n.s. v. 27, September 1876, pp. 275-289. Mrs. Campbell, a close family friend of the Framptons, first joined Princess Charlotte’s household in 1805.
29. Prince George August Frederick (1762–1830), father of Princess Charlotte. He was Prince Regent 1811–1820 during the illness of his father, George III, and subsequently succeeded as George IV.
30. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (1767–1820), later to marry a sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and to become the father of Queen Victoria.
31. George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland (1784–1849), Governor General of India.