My dear Henry
My grateful thanks are due, for your kind Cadeau which I value much & contemplate with interest, & anxiety to be more au fait of their scientific production when the elements permit our meeting a few questions kindly answer’d I hope may enlighten me,<2> a beautiful fire awaited your arrival on the expected day, but weather was so adverse I could not suppose you rash enough to start & now we are sadly dreary, & Beach cover’d with Snow, & now freezing hard, sad weather for travelling, & John <3> I believe to be on his road hitherward, but hope he will sleep at Dorchester last tidings from our Travellers is, of date Nice 9th of Decr poor Colman taken ill the morning they were to start & of course delay necessary it is so vexatious this delay was not at Naples, while in Saverios comfortable Hotel, I occasionally have comfortable report from Frankfort, where I hear Wm <4> inhabits one of the best Houses, well furnished & I am told on authority of Duke of Cambridge <5> that all is as it shd be, & Wm much liked, I hope you will go & see him by & bye prudence forbids our joining Ed: & Theresa <6> for our Xmas dinner so our family festivities must be disjointed for this Season, as even Moreton <7> has no gathering my kind love to Constance & your Graces <8> & wishing to all mirth
mirth & good cheer in Here comes John safe & well; so George<9> I daresay will be here by & bye & we four will not forget to toast the absent
2. WHFT's new calotype photographic process; he was producing examples by 1840 and although the process was not yet published, he distributed some to family and friends.
3. John George Charles Fox Strangways (1803–1859), MP.
4. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat. He was posted to Frankfort (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) in 1840 as British Minister to the German Confederation.
5. Adolphus Guelph, 1st Duke of Cambridge (1774–1850); he had particular knowledge of German affairs, having been Viceroy of Hanover 1816-1837.
6. Edward St Vincent Digby, 9th Baron Digby (1809–1889), married Lady Theresa Fox Strangways, elder daughter of the 3rd earl of Ilchester, June 1837.
7. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
8. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife; Ela Theresa Talbot (25 Apr 1835 - 25 Apr 1893), WHFT's 1st daughter; Rosamond Constance Talbot (16 Mar 1837 - 7 May 1906), 'Rose'; 'Monie'; artist & WHFT's 2nd daughter; died & buried at San Remo, Italy, with a memorial at Lacock; Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, née Talbot (25 Feb 1839-1927), 'Tilly', WHFT's 3rd daughter.
9. Most likely George Fox Strangways (1802-1858), army officer.