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Document number: 286
Date: 07 Apr 1839
Dating: 1839? age of child - see note 3
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: THACKERAY Mary Ann, née Shakespear
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 2nd August 2010

April 7h
Waltham Cross

My dear Henry/

I am very unwilling to present myself to you in the form of a suppliant, but I am tempted to do so by our near connexion & by for our old acquaintance sake. My acquaintance with Lady Elisabeth Fielding <1> scarcely authorizes my making any request to her but if either yourself or her could use your influence with some of your numerous and powerful relations to obtain a living for Mr Thackeray <2> you would confer an obligation on me which can be ill expressed by words. Our income (always small) has been much reduced since we married first by heavy losses by the sake of Mr Thackeray’s chapel in Belgrave Sqr & subsequently in consequence of my brother Arthur’s deranged affairs from whom I received an annuity till within the last two years since when he has been unable to pay us. We have three children two of them are boys & the eldest seven years old<3> & you may be sure we look anxiously to the future for them, but without we can gain some addition to our income we can never hope to be able to give them an education to fit them to make their way in the world. I need scarcely add that Mr Thackeray has been more than 20 years in the Church & can bring the highest testimonials for zeal in his profession, indeed it is only last year that his parishioners have presented him with a set of robes as a token of respect – Perhaps I ought not to say this much but my children’s interests must plead my excuse especially as I write this entirely on my own responsibility. We like our situation here very much but you do not require to be reminded of the uncertain tenure of a Curacy & it would indeed make us truly comfortable & happy if Mr Thackeray could get a small living whilst he has health & strength to fulfil the duties of it. I do not wish you to pledge yourself to any thing but simply to say you will have us in mind if you ever have an opportunity of saying a good word for us. You see I write as if you were an old friend forgetting the long interval that has passed since we have had any intercourse, however I will not allow myself to think you will be offended at my making an application to you which I assure you nothing but the interests of those far dearer than myself could bring me to do. I often hear of you from Mary Talbot <4> & not long since whilst they were with you she gave me a long account of your two little girls & their perfections

Pray remember me to Lady Elisabeth Feilding & believe me

Yr affe cousin
M A Thackeray


1. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother and Thackeray's aunt.

2. Francis Thackeray (1793–1842), clergyman and author.

3. Their eldest child was Rev Francis St John Thackeray (1832-1907).

4. Mary Thereza Talbot (1795–1861), WHFT’s cousin.

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