My dear Henry
I thought I should have died of envy on hearing you were actually going to Sicily – to think that we should have been so near it & not have gone there! & now we shall probably never be as near it again, for tho’ Papa <1> talks positively of going abroad next year, he will not hear of going south of Varese <2> or somewhere thereabouts where we might meet Caroline <3> for the summer. I thought you & Emma <4> could not fail of meeting somewhere – did she shew you her sketches? I hear she has made quantities – Kit <5> sailed about ten days ago from Cowes, I am afraid he encountered this terrible gale in the Bay of Biscay There have been a great many shipwrecks on the coasts & innumerable trees blown down on shore – indeed there has not been such a hurricane since 1816.<6> Madame Money,<7> who is just arrived at Whetham was 40 hours at sea in the middle of it & in very great danger, she was coming from Havre to Southampton but instead of that got to Dover. We dined at Bowood <8> yesterday – they are going to Ireland Monday for a month, to Louisa’s <9> great delight. Kerry & Mr Colville are at Christiania,<10> & Henry & Mr Guthrie <11> at Vienna. Papa is not come down yet, & does not know when he will. He is still in London, but will perhaps have to go to Rutlandshire about his house.<12> Mr Bowles is very busy writing the History of Lacock,<13> Mrs B. says she never knew him so interested about any of his works. He has discovered a very interesting story of Ela <14> in her youth, & several curious things in the Records of Salisbury Cathedral. I am sure it will be very entertaining. Pray do not forget in all your roamings, to let us know where to direct – that is if you wish for any more letters. I should so like very much to hear from Constance, <15> she has not yet told me a word about all she has seen except one letter from Paris – Pray tell her so with my love, & let us know how you all are & where have been [sic]. Mama <16> is very anxious to hear from you she has not written lately because she has nothing to say, as we are going on in the old humdrum way – but you have plenty to tell her. Addio caro <17>
Yr affte Sister
Monsieur Fox Talbot
1. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.
2. In Lombardy, Italy, north of Milan and near Lake Como.
3. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.
4. Emma Thomasina Llewelyn, née Talbot (1806–1881), photographer; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
5. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
6. On 31 August 1833, the Spectator reported "the wind blew a heavy hurricane, accompanied by tremendous storms of rain."
7. Caroline Anne, née Taylor, wife of Maj Gen Sir James Kyrle-Money, 1st Bt (1775-1843), of Whetham House, Calne, Wiltshire.
8. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
9. Probably Louisa Howard, née Fitzmaurice (d. 1906), daughter of Lady Louisa Emma Fitzmaurice.
11. Henry Fitzmaurice, Lord Shelburne, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne (1816–1866), MP and John Guthrie, Vicar at Calne.
12. Feilding owned Belton Old Hall at Belton in Rutland, with grounds of more than 150 acres. After his death in 1837, the house and land were sold the next year by the Earl of Ilchester as trustee and Lady Feilding as beneficiary.After his death in 1837, the house and land were sold the next year by the Earl of Ilchester as trustee and Lady Feilding as beneficiary.
13. Rev William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850), Wiltshire poet & antiquary. William Lisle Bowles and John Gough Nichols, Annals and Antiquities of Lacock Abbey (London: 1835).
14. Ela (d. 1261), Countess of Salisbury, who founded the abbey of Lacock in 1232.
15. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
16. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
17. Goodbye dear.
18. Maria II da Gloria (1819–1853), Queen of Portugal. from 1826-1828 and 1834-1853. Deposed by her uncle Miguel in 1828, she was restored as Queen in 1834. Britain recognised the legitimacy of her claim to the throne. [See Doc. No: 01723].