Aug. 31 1827.
My Dear Talbot,
Ly Elizabeth <2> has written to Hart <3> to know what wages you should give to a head Gardener. This is a question I cannot answer as I found out so many years ago that a head Gardener who lives in your house became so great a man & gave himself such airs that he never did any work or ever would let you have your own way in any thing & to use the common saying would not let you say your soul was your own, that I soon got rid of such an animal & have always had a working Gardener of whom many are to be found every where & who will come to you for twelve shillings a week & a House & Garden – perhaps so near Bath they may ask a shilling or two more. These people are to have the management of those under them & are responsible for every thing in the Garden but work with the other men, & understand the pruning the wall fruit Trees, raising Melons, Cucumbers &c. And as you are a Florist, Botanist & all the ists relating to plants I think you will find such a man more more comfortable than a Dandy man who thinks he knows every thing & you know nothing & moreover will probably steal your rare plants & sell your fruit, tho all are Sufficiently inclined to the latter. Unless you have a very large Garden & pleasure Ground I should think three men a large proportion under him. These sort of Gardeners are constantly to be found either at the Nursery Gardens, or the foremen under Gardeners in Gentlemens families where Great Gardeners are kept, Bowood <4> for instance. Has Charles Cattle <5> arrived & how do you like his ways? All well here.
If you want any further information I shall be most happy to give it. Hart will write in a day or two & is outrageous [sic] that Ly E did not say that the manuscripts you have found were of the fourteenth Century.
Henry Talbot Esqr
1. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
2. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
3. Harriot Georgiana Mundy, née Frampton (1806-1886), WHFT’s cousin & sister-in-law.
4. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.