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Document number: 1608
Date: 29 Oct 1827
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: THORP Thomas
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 19th January 2011

Trin. Coll. <1>
29 Oct. 1827

Dear Talbot

It exhibits great toleration in you to speak to me so kindly while you suppose that I have so imperfectly executed your commission. - As it is possible that under this presumption you may seek out the books, elsewhere, and also as I am unwilling to lie so long under your bad opinion as a Caterer, I venture to trouble you with a letter to tell you that two notes <2> are lying for you at the Athenæum <3> which I wrote immedly on my way to England, to announcing that I had procured all the books you want, but had only paid for two which I got at Dresden; the rest coming from Hamburg, to be paid for thro' Black Young & Young, to whom they are assigned to be f & by whom they will be forwarded to you Sackville Street <4> (I called on them myself the only day I was in town) on their arrival. The causes of this separation you will find when you call at the Athenæum & get my note. -

I am overwhelmed with work, having left every thing to be done till my return, & having staid as long as I could in Germany I have the more to do here. All goes on as usual, or nearly so; with slow but gradual reform. - The latest news is that we rejected the other day a grace proposing Thirlwall, Tomkyns of King's, Porter of Caius, & Weller of Emman: <5> as Examiners for the Classical Tripos, on account of incompetence. Do you not rejoice with me? - and still later than that is that I was saluted today as elected Examiner at the E. India House,<6> without knowing almost that I was a Candidate, and (what you care as little about) that on Thursday next either our Master or Turton of Cath. H. will be made Regius Prof. of Divinity.-<7>

Believe me Very truly yrs
T. Thorp (not Revd).<8>

You ask me of my journey: it was most delightful. I spent a week in Holland, stopped short at Bonn to see Niebuhr <9> &c, & staid 6 days there, & 6 more at Nonnenwerth the enchanting Island<10> in company with some very superior Oxford men: thence to Wiesbaden & Frankfurt, then to Weimar,<11> where I meant to stay 1 day, but remained 8, had a special interview with Göthe,<12> dined 3 times (private days) at the Court, went to the Jagd <13> with the Grand Duke, & almost wept at taking leave of the Gr. Duchess, dear old lady:<14> saw Jena & several of their best men; thence to Leipzig<15> where I called on Herman & sat at his feet to hear him expound in Latin 40 lives of the Theogony:<16> then for a fortnight to Dresden where I made acquaintce with Böttiger <17> & the Gallery & the Sächsische Schweiz;<18> thence to Berlin-<19> & home. I was not above 2 months in Germany, viz. from the Rhine. -

W. H. F. Talbot Esqre
Lacock Abbey


1. Trinity College, Cambridge.

2. See Doc. No: 01599 and Doc. No: 01602.

3. Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall, London: WHFT's club; a gentleman's club composed primarily of artists and scientists.

4. 31 Sackville Street, London residence of the Feildings, often used as a London base by WHFT.

5. A grace is a motion for decision presented to the Regent House of Cambridge University. Connor Newell Thirlwall (1797-1875), Fellow of Trinity College, Bishop of St David’s; John Tomkyns (1783-1849), Fellow of King’s College, soldier, clergyman; Charles Porter (1797-1877), Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, clergyman; John Weller DD (1794-1862 ),Fellow of Emmanuel College, clergyman.

6. Thorp has been appointed an Examiner of the Honourable East India Company at East India House, Leadenhall Street, London.

7. Christopher Wordsworth DD (1774-1846) was the Master of Trinity but emerged unsuccessful for the present appointment. Thomas Turton (1780-1864), Lucasian Professor of Mathematics 1822-1826, Regius Professor of Divinity 1827-1842, Bishop of Ely 1845-1864, writer and composer of church music.

8. WHFT knew Thorp well, so perhaps this was a mock honorific. Thorp was not ordained until 1829 at Christ’s Coll, Cambridge, by John Kaye, the Master, in his capacity as Bishop of Lincoln.

9. Barthold Georg Niebuhr (1776-1831), statesman and classical historian.

10. Nonnenwerth is an island in the Rhine, south of Bonn. The Benedictine nunnery on the island was converted to an inn in the early 1820s. At the time of the letter it was in Rhenish Prussia.

11. Wiesbaden was capital of the Duchy of Nassau in 1827 and Frankfurt a. Main was a Free City within the German Confederation. Weimar was in the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

12. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

13. Hunt.

14. Carl Augustus, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach(1757-1828); and Grand Duchess Louise, born Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1757-1830).

15. Jena was in the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Leipzig in the Kingdom of Saxony.

16. Johann Gottfried Jakob Hermann (1772-1848), classical scholar and philologist, lecturer in classical literature at Leipzig. The Theogony of Hesiod was an account of the birth of the gods.

17. Dresden weas in the Kingdom of Saxony. Karl August Böttiger (1760-1835), German critic and Director of the Museum of Antiquities at Dresden.

18. Saxon Switzerland. 'The Gallery' was the Dresden Art Gallery, home to the royal Saxon collection of old master paintings, admired by many travellers, including Goethe.

19. Berlin was the capital of The Kingdom of Prussia, as established at the Congress of Vienna in 1814-1815.

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