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Document number: 8568
Date: 24 May 1862
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: JOLLIFFE Sophia Penelope, née Sheffield
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number: envelope 22134
Last updated: 14th January 2011

[engraved notepaper:]

May 24

Dear Henry Talbot

I return you yr Photo – and Ld Henry Bentinck recognized his relation at once, so that now, you can have no misgivings as to possessing a true Lord Canning –

I hope you found all well on your return to Milburn<1> My love to Mrs Talbot and yr Daughters.

We are looking so green, & pretty here, that I am quite glad to delay our visit to London – Last week we spent at Abbotsbury, & 2, or 3 days were quite lovely, & besides the garden being full of White Azalias, &c – the beach was cheerful with fishing Boats, & many 100. of Mackerel were captured –

Tell me whether Sir W. Gordon would undertake a visit to Melbury, and what his Price for the different sized Portraits are, as I feel anxious to have William in Oils, as a Photo– is not sufficiently lasting –

To-day is fine, & warmer than the last two days have been – There was a good Choral Meeting on Thursday at Sherborne. I was prevented going to it myself but some Friends tell me the Eveng-service was particularly well performed –

Yrs Truly
Sophia Ilchester

Kind regards from Wm to you, & all.

Henry Talbot Esqre.
Millburn Tower


1. Millburn Tower, Gogar, just west of Edinburgh; the Talbot family made it their northern home from June 1861 to November 1863. It is particularly important because WHFT conducted many of his photoglyphic engraving experiments there. The house had a rich history. Built for Sir Robert Liston (1742-1836), an 1805 design by Benjamin Latrobe for a round building was contemplated but in 1806 a small house was built to the design of William Atkinson (1773-1839), best known for Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford. The distinctive Gothic exterior was raised in 1815 and an additional extension built in 1821. Liston had been ambassador to the United States and maintained a warm Anglo-American relationship in the years 1796-1800. His wife, the botanist Henrietta Liston, née Marchant (1751-1828) designed a lavish American garden, sadly largely gone by the time the Talbots rented the house .

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