3564. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 22 November 1820

3564. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 22 November 1820⁠* 

My dear Harry

You will perceive by the inclosed that the Law very uncivilly will not allow a woman to witness her husbands signature. Louisa however is a valid witness in my case, & therefore you must not erase her name, but let it stand for me, <fill up the servants designation> – & to make all sure I think you had better insert two fresh witnesses for yourself. – Let me hear that you have received these papers & xxx consigned the power of Attorney to the Banker, – that Aunt Mary may not be anxious about it; [1]  tho I must say that she has a great deal of our disposition & takes things quietly. – She seems very happy here, & is just as fond of Cuthbert, & as obedient to him as poor Wilsey would have been.

Senhouse brought the watch &c here on Saturday last. [2]  & staid with us till yesterday morning. He is now on his way to Buckinghamshire, & will take up his abode for the winter in town on Dec. 1. [3] 

King Mob bore his faculties meekly here, & did not break my windows on the night of the illumination. [4]  Have you see the Wordsworths? [5]  They are in Kenyons old lodgings.

I am sorry your receipts should have fallen short last year. You have this comfort however that whatever may become of other trades – the Physician is one that will never fail. – We have just hear that Edmondson is very dangerously ill, & that a Physician has been sent for to him

God bless you


22 Nov. 1820

Poor John Morgan is dead


* MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. d. 4. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] On Thomas Southey’s death in 1811, he left no property to his family. However, his sister, Mary Southey, successfully claimed some cottages held under copyright tenure, on the grounds that the ‘custom’ of the local Manor of Taunton Deane made her Thomas Southey’s heir-at-law. Additional complexities had arisen on her sale of these properties, and Southey and Henry Herbert Southey had agreed to the purchaser’s demand that they hold the capital from the sale in trust for a number of years in case there were further legal challenges to the title of the property. BACK

[2] A present for Edith May Southey, which Wade Browne had ordered for her from Paris; see Southey to Edith May Southey, 25–29 April 1820, Letter 3470. BACK

[3] While Netherhall was being renovated, Senhouse lived at Fingest Hall, Buckinghamshire, in London, and abroad. BACK

[4] To celebrate the withdrawal of the Bill of Pains and Penalties against Queen Caroline (1768–1821; DNB), George IV’s estranged wife, on 10 November 1820, many Keswick radicals put lighted candles in their windows on 15 November 1820 to signal their support for Caroline. BACK

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