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Document number: 3049
Date: Sun 15 Feb 1835
Postmark: 23 Feb 1835
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: GAISFORD Henrietta Horatia Maria, née Feilding
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA35(MW)-7
Last updated: 12th February 2012

Sunday 15th Feb.y

My dear Henry,

I have not had a line from you for an age, pray write & tell me what you think of the aspect of affairs – for my part I do not know what to make of it all – I suppose you are now at Markeaton, <1> but as I do not know how long you mean to stay there I may as well send this to Sackville St <2> – I am very glad you have making [sic] yourself popular among yr neighbours by attending quarter sessions <3> & justice meetings & Devizes balls. I am grieved however to hear that the poor Provident District Society is to be done away with – I had a misgiving when I left Laycock that it would not long outlive me – as I saw so many were set against it, & I really think it a pity for it did the people good & at any rate they thought it did which is nearly the same thing – & making it into a mere charitable society for giving away blankets is what we are always told is such a bad thing & contrary to political economy. – This has been an unusually cold winter for Nice, but still very bright & fine I have seen Anemone hortensis <4> in flower some time ago – whenever I see any pretty or rare looking flowers it instantly brings you to my mind – We make a party the other day to Mr André which put me in mind of former times, particularly the narrow brize[?] with a magnificent ilex <5> which I remembered perfectly. We all scrambled about the rocks & then had a cold collation in the deserted château, which has not been visited by its owners for 40 years, tho’ it is in such a picturesque spot, I cannot imagine anybody preferring Turin all the year round. William Ashley <6> & his wife were here for a day in their way home to his duties as Chamberlain – it was a pity they could not stay, as our society is so very small that any addition would be desirable, & particularly such a handsome one. They told us that Princess Talbot’s marriage <7> is broken off after all, in consequence of the King of Saxony <8> refusing his consent, & Lady Shrewsbury <9> is furious about it, & pretends that it was she herself who made objections to her daughters living so much abroad. It seems she has made herself very ridiculous at Rome & there are ends stories about her. – Caroline <10> sends you her love, she was just on the brink of writing to you – Papa <11> is expecting an answer to his letter to you – Mama <12> has taken to riding lately which is an excellent thing for her & we have an admirably safe & quiet poney – Addio fratello caro, <13> pray write me all the news you can scrape together, give my love to Constance, <14> I did not write to her today because Mama means to answer her letter –

Yr affte sister Horatia–

W. Henry Fox Talbot Esqre
31 Sackville street
Lacock Abbey Chippenham


1. Markeaton Hall, Derbyshire, NW of Derby: home of the Mundy family.

2. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.

3. Court of the justice of the peace, superseded in 1972 by crown courts.

4. She probably means ‘Anemone hupehensis’.

5. Holm oak.

6. William Ashley, Vice Chamberlain from 1830 to 1837, and Treasurer from 1834 to 1837. [See Doc. No: 02095].

7. Maria Alethea Beatrix Talbot. Her husband was Prince Philip Andrew Landi. [See Doc. No: 02998].

8. Johann I (1801–1873), King of Saxony.

9. Maria Theresa Talbot (1791–1856), wife of John Talbot, 16th Earl Shrewsbury.

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

11. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.

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

13. Goodbye dear brother.

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

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