1658. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 24 July 1809

1658. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 24 July 1809 ⁠* 

The Stewardship of the Derwentwater Estates (belonging to Greenwich) is expected soon to be vacated. [1]  This W Scott advises me to apply for; he is making what interest he can about it, & urges me to get at Lord Lonsdale, whose countenance is of such consequence, that the thing (like every thing indeed in these two counties) may be considered as in his gift. I can apply to him thro two channels & both I believe good ones, – but it is likely that a letter from Lord Bute [2]  would be of service. Will you ask him to write to Lord Lonsdale upon this subject – it will be less unpleasant for you than for me, – nevertheless if you think the application would come better from myself – which I do not, I will make it. The facts to be stated are. . that there is a disposition on the part of Canning to serve me, – that this is a suitable thing because I am on the spot, & that if it be thought too good for me, as probably it may, tho I do not know its value, the Cumberland may be divided from the Northumberland Estates, & two persons provided for instead of one. A word from Lord Lonsdale will command this or any thing else. xxxx

Danvers has been with me, & having been mountaineering with him I have some lee way to fetch up. The 14 Ch. will set off in three or four days – I could not well divide the last, & after our letter arrived it was impossible, for the leaf containing its title & contents was returned to the printer. [3]  In my next I will send you all I know about the article in the Quarterly, which cannot be done now because one of the numbers is at Wordsworths. There will be three things of mine in the third. Holmes American Annals [4]  – the Mission in the S Seas & Ld Valencias which I have this day taken in hand. [5] 

We are all going on well – Bertha among the rest. I have a fancy for Saxon names, having family right to two such good ones as Herbert & Edith.

Aaron Arrowsmith [6]  agrees with us about delaying the map, – he has also an additional reason for wishing so to do. the Hydrographer to the Spanish Marine – whose name is Booza is about to make his appearance in England, he is a friend of Aarons, & brings with him a MSS map of S America, of which I am to have the first fruits – We shall certainly be able to produce a far better map of Brazil than any which has yet been published.

The printed sheets have long been lying at Longmans for you – waiting I suppose in expectation that something would be ordered to go with them. When I write to them they shall be forwarded –

in haste


July 24. 1809


* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Staunton upon Wye/ Hereford
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, KESMG. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Although Southey asked various friends to intercede on his behalf for this post, in the end it was considered unsuitable for him; see Southey to Walter Scott, 8 August 1809 (Letter 1666) and Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 12 August 1809 (Letter 1669). BACK

[2] John Stuart, 4th Earl of Bute (1744–1814; DNB). BACK

[3] The first volume of Southey’s History of Brazil (1810). BACK

[4] Southey reviewed Abiel Holmes (1763–1837), American Annals; or, a Chronological History of America, from its Discovery in 1492 to 1806 in the Quarterly Review, 2 (November 1809), 319–337. BACK

[5] Southey reviewed in the Quarterly Review, 2 (August 1809): Transactions of the Missionary Society in the South Sea Islands, 24–61, and George Annesley, Viscount Valentia (1770–1844), Voyages and Travels to India, Ceylon, and the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt in the Years 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806 (1809), 88–126. BACK

[6] The second volume of Southey’s History of Brazil (1817) contained Arrowsmith’s Map of Brazil and Paraguay with the Adjoining Countries. BACK