2322. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [2 November 1813]

2322. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [2 November 1813] ⁠* 

Tuesday morning. 8 o clock

My dear Rickman

I found your note last night, – having failed to find you in the morning. On Thursday at 3 o clock I am to be sworn in at the Chamberlains Office, [1]  & will find my way to you in bread & cheese time, at night. For I have to hunt out a person [2]  at Chelsea, & is upon some enquiries concerning an unlucky brother, whom there seems some hope of redeeming. He has turned up once more, Wynn having recognised him among a company of strollers in Wales, by his likeness to me: To his other imprudencies he has added that of marrying, the most venial however of all, & that which offers the only chance of steadying him. My business at Chelsea is to make out the history & character of his wife, – a necessary measure before I can determine in what manner to attempt to serve them. Bedfords abode stands conveniently for me to dine at after this quest.

If the levee fall on Saturday I shall endeavour to start from town on Wednesday. Monday in that case I must go to Streatham, & Tuesday will remain with you. Coleridge I think will probably be <still> in Bristol, where he now is. I have neither seen Lamb yet not George I. & this would lie upon my conscience if I could have helped it – therefore I had rather see them on Tuesday than any other persons.

My Uncle takes me to Woburn [3]  this morning, where I go to please him, & to take the Doctor in our train. I return in time for the oaths on Thursday.

Remember me to Mrs Rickman & your sister. [4] 

God bless you



* Endorsement: RS./ Aug 1813
MS: Huntington Library, RS 212. ALS; 4p.
Dating note: Dating from content; Southey went to the Lord Chamberlain’s office on 4 November 1813. BACK

[1] Southey was being sworn in as Poet Laureate and had to therefore go to the office of the Lord Chamberlain. BACK

[2] John Lack (1739–1824), Secretary to Charles Jenkinson, 1st Lord Liverpool (1729–1808; DNB), President of the Board of Trade 1786–1803. Lack was the uncle of Edward Southey’s common law wife. BACK

[3] Probably to meet John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford (1766–1839; DNB), the patron of Herbert Hill’s living at Streatham. BACK

[4] Rickman had two sisters. This is probably a reference to Mary Rickman (dates unknown). BACK

Places mentioned

Streatham (mentioned 1 time)