2838. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 September 
2838. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 September *
My dear Grosvenor
The letter which accompanies this you & Herries may do what you please with.  And if you still think it ne adviseable that I should hasten to London, I will obey your summons (however reluctantly) as soon as possible. I cannot think it necessary; & it would be hugely inconvenient with such tremendous arrears of business as are now upon my hands.
I have just been informed of the existence of a Club at in Keswick here, – of what description think you? – nothing less than a Club of Atheists who meet <met used to meet> twice a week at an alehouse to enjoy the pleasures of free opinion in congenial society! The mistress of the alehouse was ‘of the same way of thinking”,– – but one of the members having married the daughter of another alewife the society has split, – perhaps there may be two clubs instead of one. A Clerk of Mr Fryers  is president, – & some of the Crossthwates  (the tanners) are members.
This is in great measure the fault of our Reverend Porpoise;  – who if he cannot (for lack of natural gifts) do any other good as a Priest than what might be performed by a marrying & christening machine, ought at least to do his duty as a magistrate, & interfere with the public houses
* Endorsements: 10 Septr. 1816; 10 Septr. 1816./ with enclosure
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Year from endorsement.
Note on MS: the letter contained an enclosure, a second letter to Bedford of 10 September 1816, see Letter 2839. BACK
 John Harrison Fryer (1777–1855), surveyor, geologist and mining engineer from Newcastle, who spent part of each year in Keswick from 1808. BACK
 The numerous Crosthwaite clan in Keswick included J. Crosthwaite (dates unknown), a tanner. BACK