183. Robert Bloomfield to Isaac Bloomfield, 9 May 1806


183. Robert Bloomfield to Isaac Bloomfield, 9 May 1806* 

City Road. London. May 9th 1806

Dear Isaac

Your letter this morning was not quite unexpected, for, from the consciousness of having been remiss myself, I had reason to suppose that you would or might probably be first with one. I long ago determined that I would not write to you untill I could announce the publication of my 'Wild Flowers' and send you a copy—and then close upon the Back of that came the 'Illustrations' by Storer & Greig, the two artists who visited you last summer. [1]  The first has been published some time, and after having been neglectfull in the first case, I resolved to send you the two Books together. The latter is just publishe'd, and I will certainly make them into a parcel, with some songs I have long meant to send you. and you will receive it by next Thursday night by Avey—But I write this quickly that you may have it tomorrow evening and know that the packet is coming.—

There is another material cause yet for my not sending to you sooner. Our Bookseller has been to Scotland, and has not yet settled my yearly account, upon which depends the payment of the dividends on account of the house, the intended fence of the garden, and my whole plans for the ensuing year. I have no doubt of having a settlement next week.

With this preface on account of my long silence, let us proceed to other subjects I will certainly and cheerfully too, perform all in my power with respect to the anthemns, and will write in due time to Dr Mills, or any other you may name. I have every reason to believe that Mrs Park, (who has set a tune on the death of Nelson and requested me to forward a copy to you) will give her attention and support to such an undertaking. But I should think it material to you as to who is to look at the Music, I mean as to your own feelings and their judgement. Dr Hague of Cambridge has lately stood Editor and partly composer to a collection of songs (in number 86) which are sold for 12 and 16 shillings; and though when you see them you will feel a conscious pride exceedingly well grounded, I wish to heaven you could get half his list of subscribers.— [2] 

It must first be known how many pages it will occupy; and how much it will or ought to sell for; then regulate the copies by the number subscribed for; and to get subscribers a small bill specifying particulars of the intended work, and the author, his children &c, as far as you please, should be distributed, and I will endeavour that through Mr Gedge it shall be known to the Suffolk folks. I immagine that it ought to sell at 5 or 6 shillings, and that three or four hundred copies might be printed, but this is merely the thought of the moment. [3]  You must ask yourself if you should like to send the MS. to London. If you do I will abide by your wishes in the conduct to be persued.

You shall hear as to the Books and Music when I send them. At present it is 6 o'clock and I must be at Lombard Street by seven. My family have little to complain of except poor Charles, who remains lame as ever. Old Mr Church is failing fast in health and intellects, the natural forerunners of dissolution.

Give our love to your Wife and Father and all the younkers.

Yours truly

Rob Bloomfield

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 213–14 BACK

[1] Wild Flowers; or, Pastoral and Local Poetry was published by Vernor, Hood and Sharpe in early 1806. J. Storer and J. Greig, Views in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Northamptonshire, Illustrative of the Works of Robert Bloomfield; Accompanied with Descriptions: to which is Annexed a Memoir of the Poet's Life by E. W. Brayley was also published by Vernor, Hood and Sharpe. The illustrations can be seen here: [1] [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] BACK

[2] Charles Hague (1769–1821) was a violinist and professor of music at Cambridge, where he taught, among others, William Crotch. A writer of songs and glees, Hague contributed to the collection to which Bloomfield refers, James Plumptre's A Collection of Songs, Moral, Sentimental, Instructive, and Amusing (London, 1805). BACK

[3] Isaac Bloomfield's anthems were published as Six Anthems for the Use of Choirs where there is No Organ (London, 1807). BACK