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Document number: 563
Date: 12 Apr 1812
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: SMITH George (1)
Collection: Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Chippenham
Collection number: Lacock Abbey Deposit WRO 2664
Last updated: 29th January 2012

Rottingdean <1>
12 April 1812

Dear Talbot,

You say you are surprised why I do not write to you – I answer in my Defence – I think it is I who ought to be surprised – If you recollect right – I wrote a letter to you last half year, to which nil mitri rescrissisti, <2> & I therefore conjectured – (I know not whether right or wrong) that it was not agreable [sic] to you to continue the Correspondence: However, as you favour me by desiring to continue it, I shall willingly write, provided (mark ye that) – provided you write to me in return – As to amusements – we have not not had not had [sic] much time for enjoying ourselves, because the weather has been so bad ever since we returned, that we have hardly been able to stir – Our good friend, Bowbee Abbey, has not yet of Course returned from his Easter holidays Poor Ma’am <3> Died in the Holidays, and was buried about half way up the walk in the Church-yard on the right side a Country woman of mine of the name of Brown is come in her place. Campion makes his first appearance at School tomorrow; he is a very riotous kind of a Chap; I went to see him in the Easter Holidays, with my mother Mrs Hooker, the Doctor,<4> & Commodore Tom Smith, alias Little Totty, alias Duckling – The House is very old-fashioned on the outside The windows, as I supposed from what I saw of them Giving light to two Stories –

As the weather was wet we were prevented from seeing the Grounds which are very large – The younger part of us, therefore, viz Tib, Totty & myself adjourned to a very handsome hall to amuse ourselves with ninepins & Trap ball, where he kicked up such a row as might be heard all over the House – The Slades being gone, (for their race is for the present extinct) I have not near such hard work as I used to have. They have introduced singing into our church again – All our masters attend as usual; Mouche has already put us twice back for practice – I have now in my Class, Bowden, Hobroyd, & Ingestrie <5> – The latter of whom I heartily wish to get rid of, for he reads so badly, that he always holds<6> us back, & the same in his exercises We like our sergeant as well as ever we have all regimentals of blue & red, Colours, &c &c I am in a hurry

Good Bye I remain your affectionate Friend
G Smith

[Address panel:]
Mr W H F Talbot
at Dr Butler’s <7>
Harrow School <8>
Harrow on the Hill
April 12. 1812 <9>


1. Rottingdean, East Sussex, 4 mi SE of Brighton: WHFT attended school there from 1808–1811.

2. He probably meant ‘you wrote back nothing gentle’, that is nothing of gentle/a bad reply.

3. See Doc. No: 00562.

4. Dr Thomas Redman Hooker (1762-1838), WHFT's tutor at Rottingdean and his wife, Emma Jane, nιe Greenland.

5. Possibly Charles Thomas Chetwynd Talbot, Viscount Ingestre (1802–1826).

6. Text torn away under seal.

7. Rev George Butler (1774–1853), Headmaster at Harrow.

8. Harrow School: WHFT attended from 1811–1815 and his son Charles from 1855-1859.

9. Written in another hand on the verso of the address panel.

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