Stert House –
Oct 21st 64
The Hon. Mr Talbot
I have a Chalk Painting by – or supposed – by – Sir T. Lawrence <1> of one of your ancestors who represented the Borough of Ludgershall in Parliament about his time.<2> it [sic] was given to my Father by the late Revd Chas Mayo – of Beeching Stoke<3> many years ago, if you would like to see it or purchase it I shall be pleased to show it to you
yours respectfuly [sic]
The Honle Mr Talbot.
1. Sir Thomas Lawrence, RA, FRS (1769-1830), portrait painter and President of the Royal Academy.
2. Ludgershall, a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, abolished by the Reform Act of 1832. If Chandler was correct about the Lawrence attribution, known portraits by him of Ludgershall MPs include George Augustus Selwyn (1719-1771)and George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, 1st Baron Dover (1797-1833). However, WHFT's only known relation who was an MP for Ludgershall was his great-grandfather, John Ivory Talbot (MP 1715-1722, d. 1772) whose mother was Anne Talbot. While Lawrence was a child prodigy, doing portraits for pay in his father's Black Bear Inn in Devizes well before the age of ten, this is still too early even for him. There is an oil of him hanging in the Stone Gallery at Lacock Abbey, by the Swedish portraitist, Mikael Dahl (1659-1743), who painted in London under the name of Michael Dahl.
3. Charles Mayo (1750-1829), historian, Rector of Beechingstoke Wiltshire 1779-1829.