Freeling, Francis,1st Baronet (1764–1836)

Postal administrator and book collector. A supporter of William Pitt (1759–1806; DNB), in the 1790s Freeling was involved in monitoring the activities of corresponding societies and supporters of the French revolution. A bibliophile, he was elected to the fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries in 1801. Southey and Freeling were both the sons of Bristol tradesmen. They corresponded over financial matters connected to Southey and Joseph Cottle’s 1803 edition of the works of their fellow Bristolian, Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770; DNB).