3688. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 27 May 1821

3688. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 27 May 1821⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

First I must address you as my Chancellor of the Exchequer & First Lord, requesting that you will settle all demands for my Stewardship at the Westminster Meeting, – an office which I should not have accepted had it not been my Uncles wish that I should so do. [1]  – My next request is that when you may be near King Street, Covent Garden, you will call at No 24 & pay £3.10/ to Joseph Lock the shoemaker, [2]  who was born in the same street with me, & is as perfect in his way as poor Hyde, [3]  or the living Cockbaine. [4]  He is therefore worth your seeing, tell him that you are an intimate friend of mine, & set him going, & I think you will pronounce him worthy of being appointed Boot & Shoemaker to the Butler. [5] 

I think you have forgotten to order certain clothes for me from Hydes successor, of whom I could not order them myself, because I know not where he xxxx what his name is. Will you therefore, if it has not been already done, write a note to him, & desire him to send me a black coat & waistcoat, a pair of loose trousers, kerseymeer of any such mixture as may be “in vogue,” – & a pair of black loose trowsers, for dress, – this last article I add now to the former order, – but if you have already given the order it is not worth while to make the addition.

I sent Gifford yesterday the second part of an article for the QR. which will be finished I trust in the present week. It is a life of Oliver Cromwell. [6]  I hope he will not turn it over to a future number, – if he inserts it in this, he may reckon on one for the next upon Brazil & Portugal [7] 

The 25th sheet of the Peninsular War [8]  came by this days post. I shall be glad to hear that you have obtained the clean sheets – you will find more time & satisfaction in reading them piece meal thus, than in sitting down to a formidable work as a sort of task. – You will very soon receive the story of Aguirre xx Lope de Aguirre in a little volume per se. [9] 

Cupn is well, & amuses the whole house with his dialect. I have a wicked cold. The weather is abominable, little above the freezing point by day, & below it at night. Prester John  [10]  is not yet arrived. – I have bottled some strong beer which you are to bear a part in drinking, – but if you like Worcestershire perry better, you shall have it. And you shall have toasted cheese to eat with it; & an herb pudding.

God bless you


27 May. 1821


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsements: 27 May 1821; 27 May 1821
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 26. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] An annual meeting in London of ex-pupils of Westminster School; Southey had agreed to share the post of Steward and thus take responsibility for some of the costs. BACK

[2] Unidentified beyond the information given here. BACK

[3] Hyde (d. 1820) was Southey’s London tailor. BACK

[4] John Cockbaine (1786–1873), Keswick draper and tailor. BACK

[5] ‘The Butler’ was a mythical hero of Southey’s and Bedford’s devising, about whom they had spun comical stories since their schooldays. BACK

[6] Southey’s ‘Life of Cromwell’, Quarterly Review, 25 (July 1821), 279–347. BACK

[7] This article was not published. BACK

[8] Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[9] Southey’s The Expedition of Orsua; and the Crimes of Aguirre (1821), originally intended to be part of the History of Brazil (1810–1819) and first published in Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1810, 3.2 (1812), i–l. BACK

[10] A cat. BACK

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