My dear Henry
Here we are at Melbury, that is Papa <2> & I, having arrived here Saturday – We left Mama, Caroline & Amandier <3> just getting into their carriage to go to Speenhill, where they were to sleep & go on to London yesterday. Caroline was looking very well indeed, quite blooming, & I hope the journey will do her any harm[sic] – but I cannot hear till tomorrow which is provoking. We found here Sir C. Aunt Mary, & Mary & Emma – the Belmores <4> are expected tomorrow – Edward Strangways came yesterday – he is quite altered & grown wonderfully demure
It is very unlucky the Gallways <5> are just leaving Dorsetshire when we are coming & we shall just miss them. This place is looking beautiful with the autumn tints on the trees – yesterday we took a long walk in the woods, which were somewhat wet, but very pretty – I do not know whether you are wandering still among waterfalls with hard names, or among cotton maufactories, but according to your last directions I will send this au hasard <6> to Manchester.
My cousins say it is very wrong of you to go to Wales when they are not there but they hope it will hinder your paying them a visit when they are at home [sic] – So it seems we are going to war with Holland at last in good earnest j’espère que nous le mettrons bien à la raison <7> – I have got a horse which seems very quiet & safe from Hayward–<8> I rode him several times at Lacock & liked him very much so I brought him here where I hope he will succeed as well.
Addio caro <9>
Your affte Sister
Dorchester, Octr fifteen, Ilchester
H. F. Talbot Esqre
1. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
2. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.
3. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother; Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister; Amélina Petit De Billier, ‘Mamie’, ‘Amandier’ (1798–1876), governess and later close friend of the Talbot family [See Amélina's journal].
4. Sir Christopher Cole (1770–1836), Captain, MP & naval officer; Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt; Mary Thereza Talbot (1795–1861), WHFT’s cousin; Emma Thomasina Llewelyn, née Talbot (1806–1881), photographer, WHFT’s Welsh cousin; Somerset Lowry-Corry, 2nd Earl Belmore (1774–1841), Governor of Jamaica, and his wife, Lady Juliana, Countess Belmore, née Butler (1783-1861).
5. Sir William Payne Gallwey (1807-1881), 2nd Bart, and his wife, Emily Anne, née Frankland-Russell (b. 1822).
6. At a guess.
7. I hope we bring it well to its senses.
8. Probably Thomas Hayward (b. 1783), tenant farmer, Wick Farm, Lacock.
9. Goodbye dear.
10. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858).