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Document number: 2758
Date: Tue 05 Nov 1833
Postmark: 6 Nov 1833
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: GAISFORD Henrietta Horatia Maria, née Feilding
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number: 32525
Collection number historic: LA33-29
Last updated: 16th April 2010

Laycock Abbey
Tuesday 5th Novr

My dear Henry

I write according to your wish on a venture to Lyons but I will not make it a long letter as there is small chance of your ever getting it. I wonder at your coming back to these high latitudes just as winter is setting in – but every one knows their own affairs best & we shall be very glad to see you all. It was very nice meeting Caroline <1> again at Genoa, & I have no doubt she enjoyed it very much. We have had the most beautiful weather possible, but it is now setting in very cold & regular Novr weather. We were at Bowood <2> 2 days ago to meet Lord & Ly E Grosvenor<3> & Henry Fox & his bride<4> who I was very curious to see, she is a little fat thing very merry & bien gentille with fine black eyes et un pied mignon. <5> They seem extremely happy as yet I do not know how long it will last, but I should not think him likely to make the best of husbands. – Henry Fitzmaurice <6> is returned from Germany where he spent the Summer with Mr Guthrie <7> studying & learning German – the greatest part of the time they were at a Pastor’s in Saxony which put them exactly in mind of the deutsche Kleinstädter <8> – quantities of frau obersteuereinnehmerin & frau bergräthin <9> &c

I had hoped that by answering Constance’s <10> letter so promptly I should have engaged her to write me another, but I have been hitherto disappointed – however I hope she has been sketching instead & that she will shew me her drawings to make up for it. Pray tell her so with my love

Yr affte sister

I suppose you have heard of Captain Ross <11> turning up after all quite safe. They [filled?]<12> Drury Lane the other day by putting about that he was to be there, & it was a hoax after all.

Poor Mama <13> has been suffering from a toothache & is gone to Bath this horrid day to have it drawn.

Monsieur Talbot

Poste restante
à Lyons


1. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.

2. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.

3. Earl of Grosvenor (1795–1869), politician and his wife; Henry Fox, brother of Mary Fox. [See Doc. No: 02108].

4. Henry Edward Fox, 4th Baron Holland and 4th Baron Holland of Foxley (1802-1859). On 9 May 1833 he married Lady Mary Augusta Coventry (1812-1889). They were childless, but adopted Marie 'Mary' Henriette Adelaide Fox (1850-1878), said to be his illegitimate child by an unidentified French mother.

5. "Very nice' and 'a pretty little foot'.

6. Henry Fitzmaurice, Lord Shelburne, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne (1816–1866), MP.

7. John Guthrie, Vicar at Calne. [See Doc. No: 02740].

8. The German petit bourgeoisie.

9. Wives of superintendent tax collectors and town councillors’ wives.

10. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.

11. Captain (later Sir) James Clark Ross (1800–1862), Arctic explorer who returned to England in October 1833 after spending four winters in the Arctic. He discovered the magnetic pole.

12. Text torn away by seal and no longer attached to the letter.

13. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.

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