Friday – July 5
My dear Papa,
Bayer <1> is arrived, and we are quite prepared to start tomorrow morning should it be fine, as seems likely; as today has been very warm, indeed rather close and thundery, and very calm. It is a great advantage to be able to go straight through to Brussels, and we shall have, he says, an hour and a half to rest at
Will you please be sure to send Goodwin <2> to this house to enquire if any letters have come for us since our departure, as it is possible Tilly <3> may write again. She gave a better account of Willie <4> last time.
The Viceroy of Egypt <5> has not yet arrived, which is disappointing, as we expected a fine cannonading from the two ships of war which have been waiting so lazily in front of our windows all the week.
What a horrible thing is the death of poor Maximilian;<6> it comes more like a shock from having been deferred, and hopes being raised that his life would be saved. I am afraid being held up to public approbrium will have little effect on that villain, Juarez; he ought to be caught and hung.
I suppose we shall not hear from you again till you turn up in Brussels,
which but we shall enquire for letters at the Post Office.
your affectionate daughter
1. M J Bayer, courier.
2. George Goodwin (d. 1875), footman at Lacock Abbey.
3. Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, ‘Tilly’, née Talbot (1839–1927), WHFT’s 3rd daughter.
4. William ‘Willie’ Gilchrist-Clark-Maxwell (1865–1935), WHFT’s grandson.
5. Sa‘id Pasha (1822–1863), Viceroy of Egypt 1854–1863, under the Ottoman Empire.
6. Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico (1832–1867). His execution took place on 19 June. In 1858 civil war broke out in Mexico and Benito Juarez, a Mexican lawyer, became president. By borrowing money from France, Spain and Britain, he defeated the conservatives. Britain and Spain, unable to collect on the loans, withdrew in 1861, and in 1863 a French army captured Mexico City. Napoleon III set up Archduke Maximilian of Austria as Mexican emperor, which post he held until his execution in 1867 by the troops of Juarez.
7. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.