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Document number: 1573
Date: 18 Jul 1827
Recipient: HERSCHEL John Frederick William
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: Royal Society, London
Collection number: HS 17:265
Last updated: 30th April 2012

31 Sackville Street <1>
July 18. 1827

Dear Sir,

I shall be most happy to receive your article on Light, <2> and request you to send it here, as I no longer reside in the Albany. <3> But if after the 1st of August pray send it to my house in the country Lacock Abbey, near Chippenham, Wilts. I have thoughts of briefly drawing up the demonstration of that property of an equidistant grating, of giving perfect spectra, which I mentioned to you. But I find it is necessary to begin with defining the manner in which the undulations may be supposed to be propagated as there are many conceivable ways – and it will thus form a short article complete in itself, which I may send to some of the scientific journals. I am sure that the Munich opticians would furnish object glasses simply mounted in their cells. I ordered one formerly but afterwards changed my mind.

I have a 4˝ inch achromatic by Tulley <4> which I am going to try this summer, but I believe it is not good for much. Amici <5> has wonderfully improved my microscope of Chevalier <6> by adding a lens to the object glass. He is now gone back to Paris. The optical apparatus is not yet come from Hamburgh. Mr Hussey’s <7> memorandum does not agree with Mr Utzschneider’s <8> invoice of the goods. Instead of 30 small lenses only 12 are sent. Can you inform me if Capt Ross <9> is going to sell his large telescope by Ramage, <10> and what he asks for it. I have no idea of the cost of a 20 feet Reflector, can you inform me?

Believe me dear Sir Yours most truly
Henry F. Talbot


1. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.

2. This was the article finally published in 1830, John F. W. Herschel, ‘Light’ Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, 2nd division, Mixed Sciences, v. 2, pp. 341–586. The manuscript for this article is dated 1827, St. John’s College, Cambridge.

3. Gentlemen’s apartments in Piccadilly where WHFT had rooms 1825–1827.

4. Probably Charles Tulley, instrument maker. Tulley & Sons (Charles, and his sons William and Thomas) were prominent London instrument makers.

5. Prof Giovanni Battista Amici (1786–1868), Italian optician & man of science.

6. Jacques Louis Vincent Chevalier (1770–1840), optician and instrument maker in Paris, Quai de l’Orlonge no 69. His work was continued by his son Charles Chevalier (1804–1859). [See Doc. No: 01566].

7. Thomas John Hussey (1792-1854), amateur astronomer, rector of Hayes Kent.

8. Joseph von Utzschneider (1763–1840), German instrument maker.

9. Sir James Clark Ross (1800–1862), explorer.

10. John Ramage (1783–1835), telescope maker of Aberdeen.

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