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Document number: 3335
Date: 15 Jul 1836
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: LUBBOCK John William
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA36-45
Last updated: 9th February 2011

15 July 1836

My dear Sir,

I am much obliged by your kind invitation <1> to Lacock Abbey; but Mrs Lubbock & my two young ones <2> are going with me to Clifden [sic]<3> and our plans are rather uncertain therefore I regret that I cannot avail of your kindness.

We yesterday voted the printing of your paper in the Phil. Trans. <4>

My own opinion is against mechanical contrivances for registering the trim & height of high water but for the height it might be done by merely having a ring round the staff of the Tide gage.


Let AB be the coller through which the rod works C the ring, fastened so that it can slide upon the rod.

Would not your board <5> have to be recovered every day.

Yours very truly,
J W Lubbock

H. F. Talbot Esqr
Lacock Abbey


1. WHFT invited a number of savants to stay at Lacock Abbey before the 1836 meeting of British Association for the Advancement of Science. Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), Scottish scientist & journalist, Prof Charles Babbage (1792-1871), mathematician & inventor, Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875), scientist, Dr Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869), scientific writer, Rev William Whewell (1794-1866), Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor and natural philosopher and Sir William Snow Harris (1791-1867), scientist assembled at Lacock Abbey 16 and 17 August, leaving at various times for the meeting, which began on 22 August.

2. John Lubbock and his wife Harriet, née Hotham (d. 1873) married in 1833 and eventually had a family of eleven children. By the time of this letter, they had Diana Hotham Lubbock and John Lubbock (1834-1913), who was to become 1st Baron Avebury.

3. A phonetic spelling of Clifton, near Bristol and the meeting.

4. WHFT, 'On the Optical Phenomena of Certain Crystals', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, v. 127, pt. I, 1836, pp. 25-27.

5. WHFT suggested a type of tide gauge [see Doc. No: 03334] employing a chemical compound sensitive to water.

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