July 21st 1834
My dear Talbot –
Benett being at Salisbury I take my chance of your being at your post, as a trusty franker, and trouble you with the inclosed –<2> I am, in another respect, interested in your being in town and staying there, as I mean to run up myself next Monday, and see what the deuce you are all about. “Here we go up, up, up & here we go down, down, downy.” – The latter part of the burden too true to put in a ballad, I fear.
Feilding <3> promised to let me know how they got on, in their way to Dover, and not having heard from him, I feel anxious.
With best remembrances to Mrs Talbot <4>
Ever truly yours
Henry F. Talbot Esqre M.P.
31 Sackville St
Lacock Abbey <5>
1. Sloperton Cottage, Wiltshire, 1 mi E of Lacock: home of Thomas Moore, the Irish poet.
2. John Benett (1773-1852), of Norton Bavant and Pyt House, Wiltshire; MP for Wiltshire South from 1819-1852. As an MP, WHFT had franking privileges and was entitled to free postage. Members commonly gave signed covers or envelopes to friends. At the time, the recipient paid for postage (to ensure that the letter was delivered). This arrangement was withdrawn in January 1840 with the introduction of the Penny Post, which instituted uniform costs and pre-paid stamps.
3. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.
4. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
5. Readressed in another hand.