Monday Dec: 4th
My dear Papa,
Before I received your last letter we had already given 2 Pheasants to Dr Moir <1>, who seemed much pleased with them; but if you send any more we will think of the Kellands <2>, as you wish. The other birds are keeping well, and as Mama <3> and Ela <4> return tomorrow at 6 o’clock they will be in time for their share of them.
I am glad the Mt Edgcumbe gardener has sent the fig tree cutting. I suppose Mama explained to Wilkins <5> how they grow them there in pots in a moderately warm greenhouse; the fruit is very small and good, as we can testify from experience. I hope you will plant the Bamboo in a favourable situation with plenty of room to show itself off to advantage. It should be on the grass with a background of shrubs. In the greenhouse garden near where the Pinus Insignis grew, or in the orchard on the side where there is the most space, would do well I should think, but it must have sun and shelter.
Do enquire how the poor little cat Plonplon has been going on since he lost his mother and all his friends! as it is said people are not fond of him there!
H. Fox Talbot Esqre
1. Dr John Moir (b 1809), French-born to British parents, MD, 52 Castle St, Edinburgh.
2. Family of Prof Philip Kelland (1808-1879), English-born mathematician, influential in educational reform in Scotland. His 1st wife was Elizabeth, née Pilkington; his 2nd was a Miss Boswell, daughter of Capt Boswell.
3. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
4. Ela Theresa Talbot (1835–1893), WHFT’s 1st daughter.
5. George Wilkins (b. 1814), gardener at Lacock.