July 4. 1834
My dear Talbot
By his advice I went immediately from Lacock to Bath, for the cure of a rheumatism I then had: and staying at Bath five days was wonderfully benefitted [sic].
Next week I return home, and I hope you and your Lady <3> will do us the favour of taking up your abode with us, if ever you pass through Stamford, on your way to the North –
I was very much pleased with the country round Lacock, being more generally flat than about Bath and Bristol; and very well wooded – The neighbourhood, doubtless, is excellent for those whose rank or fortune admits them into the society of it.
I venture to enclose a letter, which you would oblige me by franking, on any day that may suit your convenience– <4>
I sincerely hope the Bath waters may be of use to Miss Fielding, <5> who was, I heard, a great suffer from rheumatic fever –
I suppose this Session will pass on without any law upon Church Reform <6> – I suppose the Government do not like to provoke the opposition it would meet with in the House of Lords, and the Bishops have a political dread of all Reform – why do not you turn your thoughts towards it – I only beg you will not meddle with our liturgy, in which I suppose the Rubrics (which might be amended) are not included –
Believe me, Dear Talbot, very faithfully yours
1. Near Wincanton, Somersetshire.
2. Misspelling for Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780–1837), Royal Navy; WHFT’s step-father.
3. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
4. Enclosure not located. 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 This arrangement was withdrawn in January 1840 with the introduction of the Penny Post, which instituted uniform costs and pre-paid stamps.
5. Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.
6. The Whig plans for church reform under Prime Minister Lord Melbourne’s brief first administration (16 July–14 November 1834) were fruitless.