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Document number: 6370
Date: 28 Dec 1850
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: STONE W H
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA50-35
Last updated: 27th November 2012

House of Correction
Devizes Decr 28th

Honoured Sir

I have taken the liberty of thus addressing you respecting an unfortunate occurrence which has lately taken place at your residence. It is not my intention or desire Sir in any way to ask your interfence [sic] on my behalf respecting the Law on the present case But I venture to solicit your kind and considerate recommendation to the Court by whom I shall be tried for an Appeal to mercy on the following grounds

After leaving Sir Henry now Viscount Hardinges establishment I came with your late Reveared and Honoured Mother the Lady E. Feilding with whom I resided near three years but on account of loosing [sic] both my Parents I was reluctantly obliged to leave her Ladyship and return to the Country to arrange my late Fathers affairs which I then found in a very distressing state I had one Brother and four Sisters all Minors My Father dying intestate I Administered to his effects but finding several tenements of copyhold and chattells stuck in trade we did not satisfy the Bankers and other creditors. I sold some of my land and paid my first debt placed my Brother in a trade and gave my sisters a good Education I then for two Years took the Office of Relieving Officer but the scenes I had to Encounter between the poor and the ratepayers soon made me relinquish that situation I then returned to London and soon after travlled [sic] with a Gentleman into Spain and Portugal for 2 Years then returning to London I again left England for the different countries in the South of Europe Italy, Turkey, and the North of Africa adjoining the Medeteranian [sic] returning to England in ill health I took a situation with the Honle G. Elliott then again in the Rosthchilds [sic] Establishment to Madrid in Spain which I left in 1847. I have been with two Gentlemen since up to August 1850 from all of whom I have the highest testimonials of character and on leaving Sir Noel Harris in August last I unfortunately took a situation with a Gentleman in the Neighbourhood of London who I shortly found to be a Heathen an Infidel and a Drunkard in fact he is the most extraordinary Man I ever met with in any part of the World on my leaving him in October last I could not procure a situation as no one would take me from his Character It so preyed on my mind that I became almost a lost Man and in this state Sir I am sorry to add was the entire foundation of my having committed myself as I have done towards you but trusting Sir you will bear in mind That your property is all safely restored again and that voluntarily for I had no sooner taken it which was very easily Accomplished as I had neither Lock or door to open I found the place entirely open and unprotected

I walked towards Calne in order to give up the plate but could not see an officer I then walked to Marlborough and remained in the Town three hours but found no Officer I then proceeded to Hungerford I met an Officer to whom I voluntarily gave up the articles to Immediately every article safe and uninjured Now Sir after the Manner which I have acted I do hope and trust I shall be considered a fit subject for your recommendation I was never before in Court of Justice in my life but have always been a hard working and truly industrious person as my Characters will fully show

Trusting Sir on your Kindness and consideration to my request that I may be soon again placed with my sorrowing Relatives & friends is the humble but fervent prayer of your

Obedient and humble Servant WHS
W. H. Stone

To W. H. F. Talbot Esqr
Laycock Abbey

[address panel:]
W. H. F. Talbot Esqr
Laycock Abbey