1167. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 18 [March] 1806

1167. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 18 [March] 1806 ⁠* 

Dear Wynn

If you can read these papers in their foul-book state, with all their interlinings, blunders & running notes I think the facts will interest you. I shall not want them before we meet in London. My arrival will be some week or ten days later than I expected – I have business in Herefordshire of a troublesome nature, – to find out whether my Uncle is cheated by his parishioners or his attorney, & must either go there on my way to town, or on the return. [1]  If returning – I make a visit to Norwich on the way up. [2] 

I do not remember any reference to D. Luise [3]  in English books, – yet there must be certainly. She ought to be mentioned in the history of K Solomon. [4]  I have heard Elmsley speak of a Hist. of the English Catholicks by one Dodd [5]  – something about her would be found there. By the by you have Catholick books enough at Llangedwin to form the basis of a collection which would be very curious & which our historians & biographers have neglected.

I shall not postpone my voyage because during the long journey which I have to take in the N. provinces Edith had better be in England than in Portugal: & I should not remove my family there till I felt fixt there myself. Then she can join me, & find every thing ready to receive her. Harry will go with me, & an excellent travelling companion he will be. [6]  I know what to look for in every place we shall come to, & hope this next journey will give me as thorough knowledge of the country as a foreigner can possibly attain.

You will not be in town when I arrive – but I suppose you will return before I leave it.

God bless you


Tuesday 18. 1806.


* MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Herbert Hill had the living of a parish at Staunton-on-Wye, Herefordshire, which, while he was in Lisbon, he had left in the care of Dr Thomas, father of his business agent William Bowyer Thomas, who had died in 1802. Southey intended to investigate the payment of tithes on Hill’s estate for him while he was abroad. BACK

[2] To stay with William Taylor. BACK

[3] Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza (1568–1614), was a Spanish missionary who devoted herself to the cause of the Catholic faith in England during the reign of James VI and I (1566–1625, King of Scotland, England, and Ireland 1603–1625; DNB). An account of her life was written by Luis Muñoz (d.1646) as La Vida y Virtues de la Venerable Virgin Dona Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza in 1632, and was summarised by Southey in the third edition of his Letters from Spain and Portugal (1808). BACK

[4] The oration at James I’s funeral in 1635 compared him to Solomon because, ‘King Solomon died in Peace, when he had lived about sixty years ... and so you know did King James’. BACK

[5] Charles Dodd (formerly Hugh Tootel; 1672–1743; DNB), The Church History of England from 1500 to 1688. Chiefly with Regard to Catholics (1737–1742). She does not appear in this work. BACK

[6] Southey’s proposed trip to Portugal did not take place, though his brother Harry did go to visit their uncle, Herbert Hill in Lisbon. BACK

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