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Document number: 8453
Date: 11 Sep 1861
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: GAISFORD Thomas
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA61-136
Last updated: 8th February 2011

Mt Edgcumbe
Sept. 12 1861

[on deepest mourning paper]

My dear Talbot

Caroline<1> wishes me to tell you that the sad ceremony of today went off in the most satisfactory manner. – Ld Mt E.<2> had particularly desired that no undertakers pomp sd be used at the funeral; so he was carried to his grave in Maker Churchyard<3> upon his own truck (on wh his easy chair used to be wheeled) & four led horses of his own drew it. We followed on foot; his two sons his brother, R Macdonald & I[,] C. Cust & Col Fitzroy, Ld St Germans & Mr Boger–<4> the servants & yatcht[sic] crew<5> made up the procession – The site of the grave is exceeding beautiful. – Caroline keeps up her spirits wonderfully & tho’ broken down today has been quite cheerful & so has Ernestine–<6>

How much the absence of parade increases the solemnity of a funeral, I never felt so impressed as in this case, & the crowds collected at the Church door were evidently much struck with the simplicity of the whole ceremony–<7> The body was brought in the steam yatcht [sic] Charlie was in the vessel & they were delayed by contrary winds & only arrived yesterday morning –

I & my wife <8> go to Venice on Saturday – Horace <9> has been a year at school & gets on very well he learnt Music & French from his Governess & now is on Latin, he is not a quick boy, but very plodding, & will turn out well I think. He rides very well –

My best love s to your daughters & Mrs Talbot<10> I have not seen you for an age –

Yours affly
T Gaisford


1.The newly-widowed Lady Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding (1808- 2 November 1881); WHFT's half-sister; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1840–1854 & 1863–1865; m. 3rd Earl Mt Edgcumbe 6 December 1831.

2. Ernest Augustus Edgcumbe, Lord Valletort, 3rd Earl of Mt Edgcumbe (1797- 3 September 1861), WHFT's brother-in-law.

3. Church of St Mary and St Julian, Maker with Rame, Cornwall, family church of the Edgcumbes<.p>

4. his brother Hon George Edgcumbe (1800-1885); his sons William Henry Edgcumbe, 4th Earl Mt Edgcumbe (1832-1917), 'Val'; JP & Lord Steward of the Royal Household, WHFT's nephew 'Bimbo'; Charles Ernest Edgcumbe (1838-1915), JP, WHFT's nephew; Reginald George McDonald (1794-1873), 6th Baron Clanranald in the Jacobite peerage, brother in law of the 3rd Earl of Mt Edgcumbe;Capt Hon Charles Cust (1813-75) married the daughter of Reginald George McDonald; Col. Hugh Fitzroy of the Greenadier Guards, the son of Lord Henry Fitzroy; Edward Granville Eliot, 3rd Earl of St Germans (1798-1877) - the family seat was at nearby Port Eliot, Cornwall; Deeble Boger of nearby Wolsdon, Cornwall (d. 1875), solicitor to the Mt Edgcumbes.

5. He died on board his steam yacht, the 'Mt Edgcumbe', on the Thames while lying off Erith.

6. Ernestine Emma Horatia Edgcumbe (16 August 1843-1925), WHFT's niece.

7. This was in marked contrast to the scene two decades later, when Caroline was buried beside her late husband. Queen Victoria sent the Earl of Morley as her personal representative. In addition to outside mourners, hundreds of residents from the surrounding regions attended.

8. His 2nd wife, Lady Emily, née St Lawrence (1829- 6 November 1868), daughter of the 3rd Earl of Howth.

9. His son, Lt Horace Charles Gaisford (1851-1879), WHFT's nephew, the only child of Gaisford's 1st wife, Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding(1810- 9 August 1851), WHFT's half-sister.

10. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (30 January 1811 - 9 September 1880), m. WHFT 20 December 1832; Ela Theresa Talbot (25 April 1835 - 25 April 1893), WHFT's 1st daughter; Rosamond Constance Talbot (16 March 1837 - 7 May 1906), 'Rose'; 'Monie'; artist & WHFT's 2nd daughter; died & buried at San Remo, Italy, with a memorial at Lacock; possibly, although she was by then living in Scotland, also Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, née Talbot (25 February 1839-1927), 'Tilly', WHFT's 3rd daughter; m. John Henry Gilchrist-Clark 16 June 1859.

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