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Document number: 2073
Date: 15 Nov 1830
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: PENNANT Elizabeth Dawkins
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number: 24863
Last updated: 2nd September 2012

Nov 15. 1830.

Dear Mr Talbot

It is I am sorry to say very true that it is not in my power to have the pleasure of receiving any of our friends in our present state, which is the same we are [sic] in last year, still residing in the Housekeeper’s rooms & traversing the passage by scullery etc etc into our eating room – & I fear we have not the agreeable prospect of dislodging from these offices before we go to town We are however getting on with preparations for furnishing & look forward to being more comme il faut, <1> in the Summer & being able to see those of our friends who may be attracted to this country either out of curiosity to view the Menai Bridge or to explore the various beauties of the scenery, or to while away the tedious hours, or perhaps to have the pleasure of seeing us. I wish I could send you any materials to work upon. Those I did furnish you were certainly rather scanty, but I did not think that your fertile genius required even a spur.

We are indeed quite tired of building: the termination of it seems every day almost more distant: something like dragging at each remove a lengthening chain! This morning Mr Tennant has received from Mr Hopper <2> the design for a window over the entrance which outdoes all the former in point of workmanship. The saws & hammers, & mortar heaps are however no longer under the range of our eyes & ears, but I rather miss them, as they gave a notion of life & spirit – & I think it pleasant to see the activity & ingenuity with which the workmen handle their tools Have you seen the Cambrian Quarterly? There are about seven numbers out – it contains many Welsh tales, Dissertations on the language &c &c which might amuse you.

I conclude London is very gay; but I congratulate myself on our not being obliged to be there – The country is looking very beautiful, though wintry – Pray remember us very kindly to Lady Elisth & Mr Feilding & yr sisters, <3>

& believe me yrs truly
Eliz Dawkins Pennant

Henry Fox Talbot Esqr
31. Sackville Street


1. Proper.

2. Thomas Hopper (1776–1856), architect & surveyor, London. Between 1820-1845, he greatly modified Penryn Castle, a 18th c country house in North Wales. The elaborate changes were enabled by the Dawkins-Pennant fortune, made from Welsh slate and Jamaican sugar. The house is now a National Trust Property.

3. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father; Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother; Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister; Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.

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