302a. Robert Bloomfield to Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges, 12 June 1816


302a. Robert Bloomfield to Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges, 12 June 1816* 

Shefford. Bedd’s June 12 1816

To Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart


Perhaps I greatly presume when I thus address you by letter, but you are strictly and truly a litterary Character, and love poetry. This is quite enough for me to know at present, and the attentions you have formerly bestow’d upon me are at the same time not forgotten.

My Suffolk friends after hearing of some of my misfortunes, and my very precarious health, have, for a third time, seemingly determined to assist me by some means or other, and the last and best determination is, to publish for my benefit a subscription Edition of all that I have written, in a splendid way, to bear the price of 2 Guineas! Publick notice of this undertaking will soon be given; but in the interem, and as a previous step, I am calld upon to sound my friends, for the purpose of giving my Booksellers, Messrs Baldwin Craddock & Joy, some idea of the probable success and extent of the undertaking.

With this short view of the subject Sir, and impertinent as it may appear, I venture to ask for your name, and xxxx the names of your friends who have a relish for hedge-row poetry, and I want more particularly to hear if you approve of such a plan, and how many names you may be able to collect by the end of this month, & when, if you will honour me with an answer, or send your reply through my friend T. Park Esq. of Hampstead, I shall feel greatly obliged, for I am far from well, as my writing too plainly shows.

Persons and places will be appointed where money will be received—I have now no power to recieve any thing but names,—but of these, the more, and the more honourable, the greater will be the glory to those who have started the measure, and who claim me as their Countryman. . .

With Grt Respect I am Sir your most

Humble servt

Robt Bloomfield.

In all likelihood names will be recieved untill September at least, but this <present> is a previous measure.—No more copies will be printed than are actually subscribed for.—I write now to Dr Jenner, and other Gloucestershire friends—to the ‘Good Fitzroy’ family, and to all I can muster. Mr Park is in some degree apprised of the affair, and my neighbour Sir George Osborn, and Lady, are my sure friends. xxxx


I have this fair opportunity of returning thanks for your prompt and kind reply to my Dover request when I wanted to see the Heights, and the Castle. I saw Mr Fector, and was not dissappointed in any thing but time.  [5] 

Address: To/ Sir Egerton Bridges M.P./ Hynde St/ Manchester Square/ London [in another hand:] <Lee Priory/ near/ Wingham/ Kent>

Postmark: Shefford/ Biggleswade/
18 June 1816

* MS in private hands. Published by permission of the owner. The editors thank Angus Whitehead for bringing this letter to light: see Whitehead, ‘“A relish for hedge-row poetry”:a newly discovered letter from Robert Bloomfield to Sir Charles Bunbury’, Notes and Queries, 61 (2014), 76–80. BACK

[5] See Letter 290, 14 June 1814, in which Bloomfield describes how a letter of introduction from Brydges enabled him to gain from John Minet Fector, a Dover banker and later MP, a pass to the Heights and Citadel that formed part of the fortified cliffs. Bloomfield had hoped he might be introduced to the Tsar Alexander, one of the European monarchs who had arrived in Dover en route to the celebrations, in London, of the abdication of Napoleon. BACK