2455. Robert Southey to [Robert Eyres Landor], 4 July 1814

2455. Robert Southey to [Robert Eyres Landor], 4 July 1814 ⁠* 

Keswick. 4 July. 1814.


The Letters concerning which you have done me the favour to write, are from me, – they contain xxxxxxxx xxxx parts of a long poem [1]  which I used to take pleasure in transcribing for your brothers perusal, & xxxxxx some attempts at dissuading him from a resolution which he had communicated to me, of quitting England for ever. [2]  A few days after they were dispatched I received a letter from him from Weymouth, explaining the causes of his departure in a manner which I sincerely hope the natural warmth of his mind has made him overcharge. The whole affair has given me great uneasiness, – & the more because I cannot but feel that I have been, very innocently, instrumental in it, having been the means of introducing Betham to him. [3] 

May I request you to inform me of his address, as soon as you are acquainted with it.

I am Sir with great respect

Yr obedient humble servant

Robert Southey.


* MS: National Art Library, London, MS Forster 48 E.2 MS 482. ALS; 1p.
Note: identification of addressee from content. BACK

[1] Probably books 17 and 18 of Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814), which Southey had sent to Walter Savage Landor before learning of his departure from England. BACK

[2] Walter Savage Landor had sailed from Weymouth at the end of May 1814. He was heavily in debt and his Llanthony estate had been handed over to a trust managed by his brothers. BACK

[3] Charles Betham (b. 1779), brother of Mary Matilda. Southey had, indeed, been responsible for introducing Betham and Landor; see Southey to Mary Matilda Betham, 30 October 1811, Letter 1974. Charles had rented one of Landor’s largest farms at Llanthony. Betham and Landor were soon in dispute over the rent and the use of the land. The final straw was when Betham’s brother, Frederick (b. 1789/1790), dug up trees Landor had planted. Landor denounced Frederick in a handbill that he personally posted up in Monmouth during the assizes. Betham sued for libel, Landor lost and had to pay £100 in damages. For Betham’s version of events, see Ernest Betham, A House of Letters (London, 1905), pp. 262–277. BACK

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Keswick (mentioned 1 time)