Penrice Castle <1>
Feb 11th 1811
My dear Henry
I have lov’d you eleven years, & very dearly about nine of them, so I can’t help writing to tell you so, & to wish you joy, & to wish you may live & enjoy a great many returns of this day, & that you may continue to improve in all respects as much as I hear you have done since I saw you last. Your Cousins are all very well, & desire their love; Mary & Jane <2> are very much grown, they are taller than I am – Christopher <3> often puts me in mind of you, He is quite well now, & is to go to School after Easter. I admire Penrice very much, but the bad weather keeps us at home more than I like – I think you must be very happy to have your Mama & Mr Feilding <4> so near you all this Winter, I suppose you see as much of them as Learning will allow of. Your Aunt Mary, your Uncle Talbot, & your Uncle OBrien, <5> send their love & wish you joy of this day
I am My dear Henry your very Affcate Aunt
L S OBrien
1. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
2. Mary Thereza Talbot (1795–1861), WHFT’s cousin, and Jane Harriot Nicholl, née Talbot (1796–1874).
3. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
4. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother, and Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.
5. Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt, Thomas Mansel Talbot (1747–1813), and William O’Brien (d. 1815).
6. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858).
7. Rev. Thomas Redman Hooker (1762-1838), WHFT's tutor at Rottingdean and a most interesting character. His career prospects were seemingly cut short when his father lost his fortune to an industrial accident. Hooker became the private secretary to the Duke of Dorset, learned French, took Holy Orders and through the Duke's influence established an influential school. His pupils included the nephews of the Duke of Wellington and of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also active in the local smuggling ring. See Arthur R. Ankers, revised by Michael Smith, Sussex Cavalcade (Sevenoaks: Hawthorns Publications, Ltd., 1992), pp. 97-100.
8. Readdressed in another hand.
9. Written at the back of address panel in another hand.