3rd Mo 10th 1840
My dear Henry,
I think thou art using me very ill in not telling me what pictures thou art getting ready for the exhibition – The papers speak & highly of thy sitting Duke of Wellington & I sometimes fancy this will be one of them but this may be only fancy, & I do conjure thee by our common ancestors to “let me not trust in ignorance on this momentous subject —
Meggie’s[b] silence vexes me also – She seems to think that I am not interested in the wellbeing of her dear children –
The weather here is so fine that I hope she has taken them into the country
I am glad not sorry that my aunt’s legacy will not be what we thought — It is long since she named it to me –
I have had a letter from Tom[b] — He says he has not taken possession of the employment yet — He has, he says, sold his chambers at Bernard’s Inn, but that I may still direct to him to the lodge —
I am sorry to tell thee that on the 14th at 10 in the morning, Lady Smith, Miss Robertson, & myself are subpoenaed to the High Sheriff’s courts to give evidence as to the undoubted appearance of conjugal felicity which subsisted between poor Mrs Trafford & her husband — I hope he will obtain a divorce, & the man marry her — Else, what will becomes of her! She will go de pis en pis!
Thistlethawyte the father is so rich that he can afford to make Ellis, the gallant a purse sufficient to tempt him to marry her – I think, from what I hear his passion is cooled, The attorney general, & Austin come for Trafford – Tiger, & Bodkin for Ellis, who is said not to be rich When the little boy William Trafford, heard his mother was gone, he said he supposed his mother had been behaving very badly — & she was gone away, & he hoped she would never return! — So <passing> is the affection of children The 2 oldest children were sent away — She was permitted to see the young one (1 year old) who nearly cost her her life — To our mortal eye, it seems that it would have been better for her to died have died —
On the 31st the Judge will be here — Do thou naughty man let me know all about the pictures —
Only think what an affront to my beautiful turkey, which cost more shillings than there were pounds of flesh, to take it for a chicken!
Mia conscience! We reckon little turkies for the best –
Should thou see Meggie [b]pray tell her that in their way through from their sons, Mrs Ash & her daughter called on me — [word lost] very kind – but I was unfortunately [section cut out] Milmans? [section cut out] with the Judge for [section cut out]
Part of my Belgian recollections are in Tait this month “to be continued” I see — I am now transcribing from Brussels to Namur He wants me to write my Paris ones & I mean to do it when I have unloaded my mind of Belgium
Chambers (who has 5 of my recollections of distinguished characters, & has published all but one already,) has quarrelled with me already, & sent back my MS visit to Abbotsford — I am not sorry
Aunty [b] is much as usual – & will go on I doubt not to [section cut out]
Source: Dr. Shelley King and Dr. John B. Pierce
Address: H. P. Briggs Esquire | Bruton Street — | 33 Berkley Square | London
 Henry Perronet Briggs, as a member of the Royal Academy of Artists (RA), participated in what the Instrument of its foundation termed “Annual Exhibition of Painting, Sculpture, and Designs” which was open to “all Artists of merit” and open to the public for one month. “Instrument of the Foundation of the Royal Academy” qtd. pg. 202 in W. R. M. Lamb. The Royal Academy: A Short History of Its Foundation and Development to the Present Day. London: Alexander Maclehose & Co., 1935. In 1840, this Exhibition was held at the newly founded National Gallery, located in Trafalgar Square. See page 193 of James Fenton. School of Genius: A History of the Royal Academy of Arts. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2006.Print. Richard Doyle, who later became an illustrator for Punch, attended this Exhibition and remembers there was a “pretty considerable number of persons collected” outside the gallery, and a “great scramble” when the doors at last opened (qtd. Fenton 197).
 Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, hero of the Battle of Waterloo and Prime Minister between 1828-1830, was, by 1840, an influential Conservative statesman. See, Norman Gash. “Wellesley, Arthur, first Duke of Wellington (1769-1852).” Oxford National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 17 July 2013. Amelia Opie was friendly with his son, Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Duoro, and who later became the 2nd Duke of Wellington. Amelia Opie. Letter to Elizabeth Briggs. 23 Oct. 1838. MS. Huntington Library. Print.
 Daniel Maclise (b. 1806, d. 1870), son of Alexander McClise and Rebecca Buchanan, grew up in Cork where he studied at the Cork drawing academy. Later, as a painting student at the Royal Academy of Artists in London, he won a gold medal for history painting. He frequently contributed portraits of literary figures to William Maginn’s Fraser’s Magazine which were admired by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. A confident of Charles Dickens, Maclise worked as an illustrator for several of his novels. He was appointed to the Royal Academy in 1840, and showed several paintings based on scenes from Shakespeare at the Exhibition. See John Turpin. “Maclise, Daniel (bap.1806, d.1870).” Oxford National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 16 July 2013. and pages 197-98 of James Fenton. School of Genius: A History of the Royal Academy of Arts. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2006.Print.
 Solomon Alexander Hart (1806-1881), son of engraver Samuel Hart, was born in Plymouth but entered the Royal Academy School in 1835 after his family moved to London. Having developed his skills as a historical genre painter, he obtained election as an ARA in 1835, before being appointed to the Royal Academy itself in 1840. He would later become a professor of painting. When not painting, Hart wrote for The Athenaeum and the Jewish Chronicle. Helen Valentine. “Hart, Solomon Alexander (1806-1881).” Oxford National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 16 July 2013.
 Possibly Lady Francis Smith née Coape, widow of the late Sir William Smith MP, and grandmother of nursing reformer Florence Nightengale. She died sometime in 1840. R. W. Davis. “Smith, William (1756-1835).” Oxford National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 16 July 2013.
 Born Miss Louisa Thistlewaite of Hampshire and granddaughter of the late Bishop Bathurst, she first met Mr. Trafford at her grandfather’s palace. The couple were married in London in 1831, and went to live at Woxham Hall outside Norwich. The couple had four children, and Mr. Trafford was a most devoted husband. When his mother died in 1838 and left him an inheritance, he set about increasing his wife’s already substantial dower. In December 1839, however, he learned that his wife had begun a flirtation with Mr. Ellis of the 9th Lancers when Mr. Trafford had invited the division to Wroxham Hall that summer. Subsequent to his discovery, Mrs. Trafford was removed from Wroxham and Mr. Trafford brought a crim-con suit against Mr. Ellis, seeking £5000 in damages. At the trial, which was presided over by Attorney-General Sir John Campbell, and at which Amelia Opie appeared as a character witness, he was awarded £500. See “Sheriff’s Court, Norwich.” The Times, 20 Mar. 1840. Galegroup. Wed. 16 July 1840.
 From bad to worse
 i.e. Thistlewaite: Mrs. Trafford’s father, and son-in-law of Henry Bathurst, Bishop of Norwich.
 Mr. Ellis of the 9th Lancers, and seducer of Mrs. Trafford.
 Attorney-general, Sir John Campbell, and Mr. Austen appeared on behalf of the plaintiff.
 Mr. Bodkin appeared on behalf of the defendant.
 Robert Jervis Coke Alderson, son of Robert Alderson and Henrietta Maria Alderson, was the first cousin of Elizabeth Briggs née Alderson and Amelia Opie née Alderson.
 Likely a female relative of Dr. Ash, Amelia Opie’s physician, who had moved his practice from Norwich to Bristol in 1837. See, Amelia Opie. Letter to Elizabeth Briggs. 18 March 1837. MS. Huntington Library. Print.
 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, whom Henry Briggs was painting, suffered from epilepsy and would eventually die of it. See, Norman Gash. “Wellesley, Arthur, first Duke of Wellington (1769-1852).” Oxford National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 17 July 2013.
 Amelia Opie published an account of her travels to Bruges, Ghent and Brussels in the March and May 1840 editions of William Tait’s Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine. See, Shelley King and John B. Pierce, eds. “Non-Fictional Prose in Annuals, Anthologies, and Periodicals.” The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive. Queen’s University, n. d. Web. 15 July 2013. The magazine also published articles by Harriet Martineau, Leigh Hunt, John Stuart Mill, and Thomas de Quincey. Pam Perkins. “Tait, William (1793-1864).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 16 July 2013.
 William Chambers (1800-1883), bookseller and publisher, he founded Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal with his brother Robert Chambers in 1832 which became “the first successful cheap weekly publication in Great Britain.” See, Sondra Miley Cooney. “Chambers, William (1800-1883).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 16 July 2013. Amelia Opie published several “Recollections of an Authoress” in his magazine in 1840 and 1841. See, Shelley King and John B. Pierce, eds. “Non-Fictional Prose in Annuals, Anthologies, and Periodicals.” The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive. Queen’s University, n. d. Web. 15 July 2013.