2800. Robert Southey to Edward Nash, 29 May 1816

2800. Robert Southey to Edward Nash, 29 May 1816⁠* 

Keswick. 29 May. 1816

My dear Sir

There is one advantage to set against the many inconveniences of living in these uttermost parts of the North, – it is that in going to or from London any part of the intermediate country whether East or West may be made in the road without going much out of the nearest line. There are three stage coach lines nearly of equal length. That by Stamford, Newark, Doncaster & Greta Bridge to Penrith, this is the road which the Mail takes from London to Carlisle & Glasgow, but I think it would afford you fewer opportunities of getting on by short stages than either of the others. The Western road is generally taken by those who do not prefer mail coach travelling; – this is by Oxford & Birmingham, either to Manchester or Liverpool, & thence to Lancaster & Kendal. The third road is by way of Leeds, from whence there is a daily stage to Kendal. Kendal is thirty miles from this place, & a coach runs every day from thence thro Keswick to Whitehaven. Penrith is 18 miles from us, & a coach (likewise to Whitehaven) runs thro this little town three times a week.

The first consideration must be whether you have any friends upon either of these roads, – the second what places would be the pleasantest to halt at. But in case you should take the Birmingham & Liverpool road, & wish to rest a day at those places I will frank up letters of introduction to both. It is very unpleasant to be landed in a large city without any acquaintance in it, especially as there are no Commissionaires in England. – The Birmingham letter is to Mr Lloyd, the banker, – a Quaker & a very remarkable man, – who in his old age has amused himself by translating Homer & Horace into very respectable verse. [1]  He is the father of my poor friend Charles Lloyd, the translator of Alfieris plays, [2]  – who is now in confinement under Dr Willis. [3]  Should Mr Lloyd not be at home, enquire for his partner Mr James, [4]  & desire him to open the letter; – either of them will, I am sure, be most happy to show you any attention in their power. The Liverpool letter is to Mr Martin [5]  whose wife is the sister of Dr Smith the Bot Sir James (or Sir Edward) Smith [6]  the Botanist, – he is so lately knighted that I am not sure about his christian name. – I believe I have directed to the right street, – but the firm of the house is either Martin, Hope & Co or Hope & Martin. – & the Directory which you will find at the inns will put you right. The letters are mere letters of introduction, to be used or destroyed as you may find convenient.

I must conclude, or I shall lose the post. Mrs S. & Edith both desire to be kindly remembered, & look forward with much pleasure to seeing you.

Believe me my dear Sir

Yrs most truly

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Edward Nash Esqr/ 6. George Street/ Hanover Square
Stamped: [partial] Unpaid
Postmark: 2 o’Clock/ 1 JU/ 1816 ANn
Endorsements: This letter was given to me by/ my friend W. W. Nash the brother/ of Edward Nash./ Mr W. W. Nash died Aug 1837 aged 57a.; Southey/ Born at Bristol 1774/ died at Keswick 1843
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, KESMG 1996.5.190. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Charles Lloyd, A Translation of the Twenty-Fourth Book of the Iliad of Homer (1807); A Translation of the First Seven Books of the Odyssey of Homer (1810); and The Epistles of Horace, Translated into English Verse (1812). BACK

[2] The Tragedies of Vittorio Alfieri, Translated from the Italian by Charles Lloyd (1815); reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 14 (January 1816), 333–368. BACK

[3] Robert Darling Willis (1760–1821) ran the private asylum at Gretford Hall, Lincolnshire. BACK

[4] James Lloyd (1776–1853), the second son of Charles Lloyd Senior. In the 1790s he had tried his hand at military life and as a farmer. By 1801 he had joined the family bank and was made a partner in 1802. He eventually rose to the rank of senior partner. BACK

[5] Thomas Martin (1769–1850) the Liverpool merchant and Secretary of the Liverpool Royal Institution. Southey had first met him in 1798 when he was a Unitarian Minister in Great Yarmouth; in 1804 he married Frances Julia Smith (1776–1854) and Southey had known the couple since his visit to Liverpool in 1808. BACK

[6] Sir James Edward Smith (1759–1828; DNB), botanist and founder of the Linnean Society of London (1788). He was knighted in 1814. He was a friend of William Taylor. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 2 times)