2746. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 25 March 1816

2746. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 25 March 1816⁠* 

My dear R.

Right glad am I to send off the last portion of a long rhyme-arole. [1]  My work indeed is still-beginning, but it cannot said to be never-ending, – & I hope soon to end two or three beginnings more.

Broughams attack upon the Admiralty salaries probably in part arose from personal animosity. He was not taken up as he ought to have been for his allusions to the Prince. [2]  The vile & rascally oeconomy of pinching the public offices I shall touch upon in the Quarterly, – bringing some of your artillery into use again.

Ministry did wrong to press the Income Tax. But I think they do worse in yielding about the Admiralty [3] 


25 March. 1816


* Address: [partial] hn Rickman Esqre// St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: FREE/ 28 MR 28/ 1816
Seal: [partial] red wax, with ‘S’, ‘In Labore Quies’ motto below
MS: Huntington Library, RS 276. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816). BACK

[2] Buoyed by their success in opposing the renewal of the income tax, and against the background of government efforts to economise on expenditure, the Whigs on 20 March 1816 sought to have a proposed increase in the salaries of Croker and John Barrow (1764–1848; DNB), the First and Second Secretaries of the Admiralty, rejected. Brougham, speaking against the proposed increase, made a personal attack upon the Prince Regent that was poorly received. The proposed increase was approved. BACK

[3] The Ministry had tried to gain parliamentary support for a renewal of the income tax (originally levied in 1799 to raise funds for war). On 18 March 1816 the measure was lost in the House of Commons and the tax abolished. While the increase in Croker’s salary was approved on 20 March, the government was still committed to substantial economies at the Admiralty. BACK

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