Mt Edgcumbe <1>
My dear Henry
I need not tell you how delighted I was with the joyful intelligence of the birth of your little girl <2> & the good account of the health of dear Constance <3> who will receive my congratulations the moment it is deemed proper she should read letters – We have been extremely anxious all last week for some further tidings of her & the dear babe, & were much disappointed at not hearing again from you, as Caroline <4> expected some answer to two of hers, detailing poor Bimbo’s <5> accident, which I am sure must have given you great pain as it did all of us. He is going on as well as could possibly be expected & I must say has shown wonderful patience & good humour in this tiresome confinement, which at his age & with his spirits & love of motion must be difficult to bear. It is somewhat difficult to find stories to read to him & animals to shew him in sufficient quantity to fill up the day – His passion for Zoology is really marvellous I was to have left this to-morrow, but strange to say, the state of the weather has been such as to prevent Wright <6> coming for me till it abates. It is rather curious to have deep snow at Easter after such a Christmas. Even in this mild climate we had such a heavy fall as to preclude going to church on Good Friday – but it disappeared the next day. Poor Lord V. <7> is gone to the Assizes at Launceston, which must be a great bore, & will not be back till Wednesday.
What dreadful bad news from Spain – are not you very sorry for Evans <8> & angry with [Sarsfield?]? I am so vexed at your going to reside in the end of the world, in Harley Street <9> of all places, where I shall never be able to go without a carriage – I suppose
we shall be in town soon, I am very impatient to see my new niece – It was very pretty of Ela <10> to go & kiss her directly – Pray give my best love to them both & to dear Constance, & do not omit writing us word how she goes on, which I should take very unkind.
Yr affte Sister
W. Henry Fox Talbot Esqre
65 Harley Street
1. Mt Edgecumbe, near Plymouth: seat of the Earl of Mt Edgcumbe.
2. Rosamond Constance ‘Monie’ Talbot (1837–1906), artist & WHFT’s 2nd daughter.
3. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
4. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.
5. William Henry Edgcumbe, ‘Val’, 4th Earl Mt Edgcumbe (1832–1917), JP & Ld Steward of the Royal Household; WHFT’s nephew ‘Bimbo’.
6. James Wright, footman to the Talbots & Constable for Lacock.
7. Ernest Augustus Edgcumbe, Lord Valletort, 3rd Earl of Mt Edgcumbe (1797–1861), WHFT’s brother-in-law.
8. Sir George de Lacy Evans (1787–1870), general in command of the British Legion in Spain (1835–1837); he had just been defeated on 16 March 1837.
9. Harley Street, London.
10. Ela Theresa Talbot (1835–1893), WHFT’s 1st daughter.