Biddlecombe, Charles (dates unknown)

Neighbour and friend. Biddlecombe met Southey in summer 1797 when the latter moved to the village of Burton in Hampshire. Southey described him as ‘rich enough to buy books, and very friendly, all that a neighbour should be’. Biddlecombe married in 1798, but his wife died in childbirth in March 1799, leaving him with an infant daughter. During Southey’s numerous absences, Biddlecombe appears to have looked after the cottage at Burton and when it was finally given up in 1802 arranged for a sale of part of the furniture and stored some of Southey’s possessions, including books, for a number of years. During his 1817 visit to France, Southey ran into Biddlecombe, whom he had not seen for several years, and his invalid daughter, describing the latter as ‘short and plethoric, with a countenance of prepossessing good nature’.

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