Sackville Street <1>
My dear Henry
I hope you had a pleasant journey & are making a successful canvass – I have been all the morning occupied with Vaccaj <2> & concealed fifths so artfully concealed, comme le serpent se cachant sous les fleurs. <3> – Almacks <4> was tolerable – the Galways <5> were there & Theresa <6> & all danced a good deal. Lord Valletort <7> is a great deal better: he has taken eau médicinale <8> with great success. I drank tea there yesterday, & Caroline <9> & I dressed up in our Roman costumes much to her amusement We were at a rather stupid concert yesterday at Lady J. Walsh. <10> I think it is a very good time for canvassing as there is so little going on. There are rumours only of breakfasts next week at Chiswick & the Dss of Bedford’s. <11> –
Mary Robinson <12> is going to marry Henry Vyner <13> – that is all the news I know. He has not a shilling & they are to live with Ld Grantham. – Kerry <14> is gone to Bowood. <15> I gave Caroline your address – We have taken a box today for Robert le diable <16> & are going with Caroline. Write me word all about my garden & pray ask Mrs Marchant <17> whether Mary Barnes ever got her gown which I left with Mrs M. to make for her.
Kit <18> talks of going on a cruise in the Galatea as the only way of getting well.
Addio fratel caro, <19> tell me if my strawberries are ripe & eat some if they are – to see if they are good –
Yr affte sister
1. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.
2. Nicola Vaccai (1790–1848), composer and singing teacher.
3. Like a snake hiding under the flowers.
4. Almack’s Assembly Rooms, founded by William Almack in 1765.
5. Misspelling of Sir William Payne Gallwey (1807-1881), 2nd Bart, and his wife, Emily Anne, née Frankland-Russell (b. 1822).
6. Possibly Theresa Anna Maria Digby, née Fox Strangways (1814–1874), WHFT’s cousin.
7. Ernest Augustus Edgcumbe, Lord Valletort, 3rd Earl of Mt Edgcumbe (1797–1861), WHFT’s brother-in-law.
8. Medicinal Waters.
9. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.
10. Lady Jane Walsh, née Grey.
11. Georgiana Russell, née Gordon, Duchess of Bedford.
12. Mary Gertrude Robinson (b. 1809).
13. Henry Vyner.
14. Thomas Philip Robinson, 3rd Baron Grantham (1781–1859) and William Thomas Fitzmaurice, Earl of Kerry (1811–1836), MP.
15. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
16. Opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer (Paris: 1831).
18. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
19. Goodbye dear brother.
20. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.
21. The family's dog, found by them on 20 December 1823 as a stray in the Piazza di Fontana Amorosa in Genoa.