Abbotsbury Castle <1>
February 10th 1825
My dear Henry
I am sure you will be glad to hear of anything good relating to Uncle William <2> and therefore I do not lose a moment in telling you that Grandmama <3> received a letter from Mr Canning <4> two days ago informing her that he has appointed Uncle Wm Secretary of Legation at Florence, at which of course we are all highly delighted – We have not yet heard from Uncle William, but I expect to have the pleasure of congratulating him in person, as I suppose he must come home to get ready for Florence. Ld Burghersh <5> is the Ambassador there but we cannot recollect who was the late Secretary of Legation whose place Wm is to fill. Grandmama desires me to give her kindest love to Aunt Lily <6> and to say that she meant to have told her this good news herself but she has so very many letters of thanks &cc &cc to write that she must put it off for a little while –
I hope you got a little note about Signora Antonietto <7> which I enclosed to Mary Talbot, <8> fearing you might have left London; tho’ I found afterwards that you staid some days longer than you intended originally.
Of course from Ab. you will expect to hear something about the garden, and it is so much improved since I saw it in October that I think it will hereafter surpass all its Dorsetshire rivals. The tender plants are almost all flourishing in spite of very high winds but as the frosts here are very trifling there is a Camellia, Melianthus & Oleander, Cactus opuntia &c – all looking as well as those in my greenhouse. He has a Crocus pusillus coming into blow out of doors which I am watching as it looks as if it intended being white, & as I believe he brought it from Naples I am anxious for its well doing here.
& Believe Me Your Very Affectionate Cousin
I beg you will not forget that you undertook to answer all my effusions at the end of 3 weeks.
Henry Talbot Esqre
Hotel de la Terrasse
Rue de Rivoli
1. Abbotsbury, Dorset: home of William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways.
2. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.
3. Juliana Maria Strangways, née Digby (d. 1842).
4. George Canning (1770–1827), statesman known for his liberal policies as foreign secretary (1807–1809, 1822–1827) and as prime minister for four months during 1827.
5. John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland (1784–1859), statesman.
6. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.
8. Mary Thereza Talbot (1795–1861), WHFT’s cousin.
9. Lady Harriet Frampton, née Fox Strangways (d. 1844) .
10. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister, and Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.