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Document number: 5937
Date: 05 May 1847
Recipient: HARRISON Alfred Edwin
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 11th December 2010


3 Mansfield St
May 5/47


I am very willing to continue your engagement on the same terms, for 3 months at a time, that is, giving 3 months notice on either side you to pay the expenses wages [of] two boys as at present, or if they are not employed the amount to be deducted.

I propose that you should fill the office of shopman in Regent Street and keep the daily accounts there, lending a hand occasionally in the other parts of the business which you are acquainted with. I should wish to discontinue your brother’s services at present (from not having enough employment for him) but should be very willing to take him again, if Henneman’s business increases so as to require it. Please to deliver to Mr Telfer the books of the Establishment at Reading and the vouchers and correspondence, to take with him to London.

I intend to close the Reading Establishment <1> but not to [part] with the house at present, because I have no place to which I could remove the glass house, & [the] bookcases, shelves, & other fixtures – I have endeavoured, but without success, to find suitable premises in the outskirts of London. I have commissioned Mr Telfer to converse with you on the subject of my letter which will save me the necessity of writing at greater length

H. F. Talbot


1.. This was the works of Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), born in Holland and trained in Paris, WHFT’s valet who emerged as his assistant in photography. Henneman set up his Calotype works at 8 Russell Terrace, Reading. Commencing operations at the start of 1844, it functioned both as a photographic studio and as a photographic printing works and continued through late 1846, at which time Henneman transferred his operations to London. Although Talbot supported Henneman through custom, such as printing the plates for The Pencil of Nature, and loans, it was always Henneman's operation. His business cards made no mention of "The Reading Establishment," the designation that it is popularly given today; the major contemporary use of that title seemed to be by Benjamin Cowderoy - see Doc. No: 05690 - and Talbot seems to be using it here as a shorthand reference, rather than as a formal title.

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