Ela Therese Talbot, born 1836, and Rosamond Constance Talbot, born 1837, were two of four children born to William Henry Fox Talbot and his wife Constance. These two young ladies were born into a wealthy family at a time of huge changes in Great Britain. Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, the railways were expanding in Britain and abroad, industrialisation was taking place and the Great Exhibition opened in May 1851.
Ela and Rosamond were educated at home by their mother and a governess named Amelina Petit de Billier. She had been the governess to William Henry Fox Talbot when he was a boy and after a period of time back in France, which was her original home, she was asked to return to the family to become a companion to Fox Talbot's wife and children. She spoke French, Italian and German. She was an accomplished musician and played the piano and the harp. Amelina's harp is still kept at Lacock Abbey. This talented lady was also an excellent artist and could draw and paint. Ela and Rosamond were very lucky to have this lady in their household and she stayed with the household until she died in 1876.