My dear Talbot –
Your note found me (where I am always very glad to be found) at the breakfast table at Laycock; and I could not, of course, help boasting aloud of the honour done me by Lady Shrewsbury,<2> to whom pray present my most grateful acknowledgements for her message.
I have missed you much in my visits to the Abbey, notwithstanding the abundance of other materials of agreeableness to be found there. Have you passed any day since so merry (in the style, it is true, of the “Merry Mourners”)<3> as that at Joy’s?<4> It is unequalled in history.
Ever yours truly
Henry Talbot Esqr
1. Sloperton Cottage, Wiltshire, 1 mi E of Lacock: home of Thomas Moore, the Irish poet.
2. Maria Theresa Talbot (d. 8 Jun 1856), the wife of John Talbot, 16th Earl Shrewsbury (18 Mar 1791 - 9 Nov 1852).
3. Probably a reference to John O’Keeffe, Modern antiques; or, The Merry Mourners (Dublin: P. Byrne, 1792).
4. Henry Hall Joy (1786-1840), lawyer, owner of Hartham Park and friend of Byron.