Abbotsbury Castle <1>
Saturday Novr 3rd
My dear Henry
I was going to write to you at Markeaton, <2> but as I hear in a roundabout way from Uncle John <3> that you are at Lacock, I will try sending a letter there. We came here Monday & found Aunt Harriet & Louisa – Lady Belmore Lord Corry & Juliana<4> came the same day – & Uncle John arrived Tuesday – I have not been here for 7 years! You cannot think what an improvement Lady I. <5> has made on the terrace before the house – it is full of flowers which it was always supposed would not grow there – all sorts of charming geraniums, verbena &c & a fountain playing in the middle wind & weather permitting – It really makes a very nice walk, tho’ I always prefer running down to the beach & enjoying the waves, which have been very fine latterly – She is very proud too of her garden which I believe you have seen, & where she spends nearly all her time Lord B. <6> went to town with Uncle Harry <7> Monday & I suppose they will come back here soon & then Theresa & Caroline & Elbelle <8> are to come. I was very sorry to leave Melbury <9> – we were very happy & merry there particularly the last week. Aunt Harriet left us yesterday – she is a great loss. She did not get to Moreton <10> in one day but slept at Dorchester! I think Miss B. very much improved – I cannot help liking her – it is a great pity Lord C. should be so incorrigibly dull as we are destined to see so much of him they are going to Moreton at the same time we are. However they say qu’il faut prendre le tems comme il vient, l’argent pour ce qu’il vant et les hommes pour ce qu’ils sont <11> & so adieu write me word where you ar[e]<12> going to bestow yourself
Your affte sis
if not there to be forwarded to London
W. Henry Fox Talbot Esqre
1. Abbotsbury, Dorset: home of William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways.
2. Markeaton Hall, Derbyshire, NW of Derby: home of the Mundy family.
3. John George Charles Fox Strangways (1803–1859), MP.
4. Lady Harriet Frampton, née Fox Strangways (d. 1844); Louisa Charlotte Frampton; Lady Juliana, Countess Belmore, née Butler (1783-1861); Armar Lowry-Corry (1801-1845), Viscount Corry until 1841, then 3rd Earl Belmore; Juliana Maria Strangways, née Digby, Countess of Ilchester (d. 1842), 2nd wife of Henry Thomas Fox Strangways, 2nd Earl of Ilchester (1747-1802); WHFT's grandmother; 'Grand Mam'.
5. Juliana Maria Strangways, née Digby (d. 1842).
6. Lord Belmore [see above].
7. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858).
8. Probably Theresa Anna Maria Digby, née Fox Strangways (1814–1874), WHFT’s cousin, and Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister; Elbelle, governess.
9. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there.
10. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
11. That it is important to take the times as they come, the money as it is valued, and the men for what they are.
12. Text torn away under seal.
13. Lady Anne Charlotte Murray, née Grant (d. 1844), and Amelia ‘Emily’ Matilda Murray (1795–1884), author.