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Document number: 4858
Date: 01 Aug 1843
Recipient: HAWKINS Edward
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Museum, London - Dept of Ancient Near East
Collection number: Corr v.13 no. 5209 [1826-60]
Last updated: 12th June 2010

Lacock Abbey, Chippenham
Aug. 1./43

Dr Sir

The extreme haste in which we were obliged to get up our experiments at the Museum (as soon as my servant and apparatus came back from Paris we did not lose a day) and the consequent imperfection of the results obtained, have it would appear decided the Trustees of the Museum (or those persons whoever they are, with whom the direction of the expedition rests) to abandon their intention of using the Calotype. <1> Altho’ I might well be excused from giving myself any more trouble about the matter, yet I take so much interest in the success of the expedition and the important results likely to flow from it, that I will endeavour when I return to Town to learn what is the true reason for this change of opinion, which I am persuaded arises from some quite erroneous conception or other. As to the trifling expense of fifty pounds or thereabouts likely to be incurred, who can believe that that is the obstacle in a great national expedition – and if it be only that Mr Fellows <2> will have so much on his hands that his time will not permit him to attend to it, there I fully agree, and have all along said that somebody else should undertake the charge.

Having yesterday prepared a lot of the iodised paper for Mr. Fellows, I shall send it off, because I believe it would be too late to wait for another interchange of letters. If not wanted by him, will you do me the favour to take charge of the parcel for a few days?

Believe me yours truly
H.F. Talbot


1. For the context of this effort, see Christopher Date and Anthony Hamber, "The Origins of Photography at the British Museum, 1839-1860", History of Photography, v.14 no. 4, October-December 1990, pp. 309-325.

2. Sir Charles Fellows (1799–1860), archaeologist.

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