3481. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 12 [May 1820]

3481. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 12 [May 1820]⁠* 

My dear Edith

I am a little uneasy at not receiving any letter from home since that of the 30th. Willing as the children [1]  expressed themselves to write, & with so many of them, – from one or other, or altogether, they <you> might contrive let me know once a week how you are going on. – The twenty minutes which I have to spare would have been employed in beginning a letter to Bell, if I had not been disappointed in my expectations of finding one on my return from the mornings business, & therefore put out of the spirits required for writing in that strain. You must be contented therefore with merely hearing how my time has been past. Friday last I breakfasted with Miss Wordsworth at her brothers, & dined at Marianne’s [2]  – a large party. Saturday at Harry Inglis’s where I slept. Sunday Mrs Gonnes. Monday breakfasted with Turner dined with Kenyon & met Coleridge & Derwent there. Tuesday breakfast with Henry Robinson, – walked to Wapping to see the sister [3]  of Elton Hamond, dined with the Imperial General. Wednesday breakfasted with Dr Ashburner [4]  to meet Rex & his daughter Zoe, [5]  – but they had been called off the evening before. however I met D Jardine & his wife. [6]  – then to the Levee [7]  with Wynn, then to dinner at Murraylemagnes. Thursday breakfast with Dr Wordsworth, worked all the morning in the Lambeth library, dinner with a large uncomfortable party at Mrs Vardons. This morning worked again at Lambeth, & now must dress to dine with D’Israeli.

My dinner engagements stand thus – tomorrow Rickman, – Sunday G.C.B. Monday Sir George B. Tuesday at home. Wednesday with Harrys friend Mrs Cookson [8] . Thursday Mr Butler. Friday Wilber Saturday Sunday Monday Richmond. Tuesday Courtenay. Wednesday Mr Bill. Thursday ____. Friday D Jardine, – & on Saturday if I receive the answer which I hope for from Bunbury [9]  I go for Cambridge.

At present I am heartily tired. love to the children, & do let me hear from home a little more frequently.

God bless you


Friday 12thQ Anne Street


* Address: To/ Mrs Southey/ Keswick/ Cumberland
Postmark: A MY/ 12/ 1820
Endorsement: 12 May 1820
MS: British Library, Add MS 47888. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Edith May, Bertha, Kate, and Isabel Southey. Their brother Cuthbert was an infant. BACK

[2] Mary Anne March, née Gonne (b. 1792), Henry Herbert Southey’s sister-in-law. BACK

[3] Harriott Hamond (b. 1788), who had shared a house with her brother. BACK

[4] John Archibald Ashburner (1793–1878). Born in Mumbai, India, he studied medicine at Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh, graduating with an M.D. in 1816. He was Physician to the Small-Pox Hospital in London 1818–1824. He then went to India, but returned and later held posts at Queen Charlotte’s Lying-in Hospital and St Thomas’s Hospital. BACK

[5] Zoe King (1803–1881). BACK

[6] Sarah Jardine (d. 1860). BACK

[7] The first levée of George IV’s reign on 10 May 1820. BACK

[8] Possibly a relative of Wordsworth’s uncle, William Cookson (d. 1820), Canon of Windsor 1792–1820. BACK

[9] Bunbury had offered Southey information for his History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832); see Southey to Sir Henry Bunbury, 8 May 1820, Letter 3480. BACK

Places mentioned