1254. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [early-mid January 1807]

1254. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [early-mid January 1807] ⁠* 

My dear Wynn

I have sent for the MSS. & for every thing in my possession relating to Brazil, – a good deal I have at hand here. [1]  I am very glad that Government does not require any previous summary – as it would have interrupted me. – a good deal however of what those papers contain will be found to have a very important relation to the Spanish as well as Portugueze domains territories.

I am working very hard to clear off every thing which is actually in hand that nothing may divert me from it. Meantime, thinking of nothing else, I have mapped out the arrangement in my mind. – Will you ask Heber if he can lend me Ramusio. [2]  Grynaeus [3]  I have, in which A. Vespucios voyage [4]  is given – but it is always better to get as near the original as possible. – which is the is the reason I wanted the Dutch Linschoten (had it been as I imagined not an expensive book) for I have de Brys Latin edition with all the prints. [5]  I need not however borrow it from him now, as it relates wholly to the Indian history, now necessarily postponed.

Your Godson goes on as well as heart could wish – Shall I not soon hear of xx a new branch from your old family tree? [6] 

God bless you




* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M.P./ Whitehall/ London/ Private
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial] FREE/ JAN/180
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Wynn’s daughter was born a few days before 18 January; this letter predates the birth. BACK

[1] The flight of the Portuguese court to Brazil prompted Southey, at his uncle Herbert Hill’s request, to begin a history of Brazil, using papers sent him by Hill and stored by Rickman; see Southey to John Rickman, 23 December 1806, Letter 1247. Southey had asked Wynn to use his position as Under Secretary of State in the Home Office to ascertain whether the government might provide him support during the preparation of a work likely to provide it with useful information in the new political situation. BACK

[2] No. 2382 of the sale catalogue of Southey’s library was Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1485–1557), Navigatione e Viaggi (1565–1588). BACK

[3] Simon Grynaeus (1493–1541) and Johann Huttich (c. 1480–1544), Novus orbis regionum ac insularum veteribus incognitarum (1532). No. 1204 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[4] Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512), an Italian explorer who made three or four voyages (the number is disputed) to the east coast of South America at the start of the sixteenth century. BACK

[5] Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563–1611), the Dutch explorer and cartographer, published in 1595 Reys-Gheschrift Vande Navigatien der Portugaloysers in Orienten and in 1597 Beschryvinghe van de Gantsche Custe van Guinea, Manicongo, Angola Ende Tegen over de Cabo de S. Augustijn in Brasilien, de Eyghenschappen des Gheheelen Oceanische Zees. The Latin edition, with plates, appeared as Pars Indiae Orientalis, in Qu Johan. Hugonis Lintscotani Navigatio in Orientem, 1599 in the collection of travel narratives published by Johan Theodor and Johann Israel De Bry, Peregrinationes (1598–1613). BACK

[6] Wynn had a daughter, Charlotte, before the 18 January 1807, when Southey wrote to congratulate him on the birth (see Letter 1262). BACK

People mentioned

Heber, Richard (1774–1833) (mentioned 1 time)
Southey, Herbert (1806–1816) (mentioned 1 time)