Thursday 6th June
My dear Papa,
I have two letters to thank you for, but I hope Mama <1> has done this already, and I daresay you did not expect a direct answer very speedily. I have been intending to write to you these last two or three days, but always put off till too late, when I got tired and couldn’t do it. You must be very happy to have got fine weather at
all last to enjoy your flowers; here also we rejoiced greatly at the change, and enjoy the lovely view from our windows, and the green-ness of the garden, more especially our tree which is magnificent. I have been intending to go out for a drive every day this week, but the high wind or something has always prevented it. Yesterday morning was warm and delightful, but unluckily at one o’clock came on a heavy storm with distant thunder, and it continued pouring for hours. Today is regularly wet. This is a bad lookout for Tilly <2> who intended on Saturday to take possession of Ross Cottage near Kirkcudbright, where they are to spend six weeks: a very pretty, and very out-of-the-way place she says. We have settled, if possible to leave here at the end of next week, and go – we don’t yet exactly know where – except that it is to be by the sea, and not too far off, that the journey may not be too fatiguing. Mama is not well, complaining much of lameness – her feet are so swelled that she can scarcely walk at all, and yet she will go up and down these long stairs, far more than is necessary. We hope a few warm sea baths may set her up before our real journey. I am sorry the Rhine is objectionable at this time of year, but, as there is a railway along it’s [sic] banks this will be no real inconvenience to us – but I do hope nothing will interfere with our trip to Belgium on the way to Switzerland, as I for one (and I believe all of us, and most certainly Charles, <3>) am looking forwards to that part of our journey with particular pleasure, always having had such a desire to visit those curious old towns, with their interesting picture-galleries &c &c –
The Miss Gibson-Craigs <4> were quite charmed with the Bomaria and have preserved it until now. Please tell Charles we saw in the paper the marriage of the second Miss Dick-Cunninghame to a Mr Clark of Lanarkshire, I think – I was surprised, not having heard anything of it
This has grown quite a long letter so I must stop; with much love from all, and thanks from Mama for your last letter,
I am your affectionate daughter
H. F. Talbot Esqre
1. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
2. Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, ‘Tilly’, née Talbot (1839–1927), WHFT’s 3rd daughter.
3. Charles Henry Talbot (1842–1916), antiquary & WHFT’s only son.
4. Daughters of Sir William Gibson-Craig (b.1797) of Riccarton, Midlothian, an Advocate at the Scottish Bar and MP for Edinburgh 1837–1852.
5. Ernest Augustus Edgcumbe, Lord Valletort, 3rd Earl of Mt Edgcumbe (1797–1861), WHFT’s brother-in-law.