2818. Robert Southey to John Murray, 29 June 1816

2818. Robert Southey to John Murray, 29 June 1816⁠* 

Keswick. 29 June. 1816

My dear Sir

This evening the conclusion of the article on the Poor is sent off. [1]  It is well–timed. So will the paper <be> upon Pinckards shallow book: [2]  – for this I should be glad of a life of Toussaint which was published some years ago, & which came from some friends of Wilberforce, [3]  – Mc Cullums account of Trinidad, [4]  – any pamphletts about the Registry Bill, [5]  & Dr Cokes History of the West Indies. [6]  I have Bryan Edwards, [7]  Rainsfords S Domingo, [8]  – & the old invaluable works of Du Tertre & Labat; [9]  with a good many others of minor importance. This & Ali Bey [10]  for your next.

I tremble for the part which the Quarterly may take upon the Catholick question, of all questions that ever were brought before the legislature the most mischievous, & the most certainly perilous. If the Emancipation as it is called, be carried, it will produce a civil religious rebellion in Ireland upon the agitation of the next demand, – which will be for a Catholick Establishment in that country, – & it will shake our own Church which is already undermined, & is battered on all sides. This is a subject which I perfectly understand & have deeply at heart. I touchd upon it more than once in the Register, [11]  & shall feel strongly inclined to take up those fragments sometime before the next session, & embody them in a pamphlett in the form of a letter to some distinguished character, Wilberforce perhaps, – or perhaps the Archbishop of Canterbury. [12]  My name will procure readers, & if I could produce an impression upon the public mind, it is my duty to do it upon a subject of such paramount importance.

Let me have the number for October [13]  in your next parcel. – I shall return Evlia immediately [14]  – the matter is very curious, – the manner not less so; but it is only for the curious, & cannot answer for general sale. If you print it the German-English will require occasional correction

Believe me my dear Sir

yrs very truly

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ John Murray Esqr/ Albemarle Street/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 2 JY 2/1816
Watermark: J DICKINSON & Co/ 1811
Endorsement: 1816 June 29/ Southey Rob
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42551. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s review article ‘On the Poor’ appeared in Quarterly Review, 15 (April 1816), 187–235. BACK

[2] George Pinckard (1768–1835; DNB), Notes on the West Indies ... Second edition, with Additional Letters from Martinique, Jamaica and St. Domingo (1816). Southey did not review this book, or the others mentioned below, in the Quarterly Review. It was no. 2244 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[3] James Stephen (1758–1832; DNB), Buonaparte in the West Indies; or, the History of Toussaint Louverture, the African Hero (1803); a biography of Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743–1803), the leader of the slave rebellion in Haiti. Stephen was a leading abolitionist and Wilberforce’s brother-in-law. BACK

[4] Pierre Franc McCallum (dates unknown), Travels In Trinidad, During The Months Of February, March, and April, 1803: In A Series Of Letters (1805). BACK

[5] In 1815 Wilberforce had printed a proposed Registry Bill, which would have required West Indian colonies to produce registers of all their slaves. The Assemblies in Jamaica and Barbados were deeply opposed to enacting this measure. BACK

[6] Thomas Coke (1747–1814; DNB), A History of the West Indies, Containing the Natural, Civil, and Ecclesiastical History of Each Island: with an Account of the Missions Instituted in those Islands (1808–1811), no. 625 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[7] Bryan Edwards (1743–1800; DNB), The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies (1798), no. 986 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[8] Marcus Rainsford (1758–1817), An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti (1805), no. 2358 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[9] Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre (1610–1687), L’Histoire Générale des Antilles Habitées par les Français (1667–1671), no. 2848 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library; Jean-Baptiste Labat (1663–1738), Nouveau Voyage aux Isles Françoises de l’Amérique (1742), no. 1582 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[10] In Quarterly Review, 15 (July 1816), 299–345, Southey reviewed Domingo Badia y Leblich (1766–1818), Travels of Ali Bey in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Turkey, Between the Years 1803 and 1807 (1816). BACK

[11] The Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808–1811 (1810–1813) for which Southey wrote the historical section. He discussed Catholic Emancipation, for example, in the Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808, 1.1 (1810), 7–11; 116–131.The Quarterly Review was reluctant to discuss Catholic Emancipation as it was an ‘open question’ in the Cabinet and divided the government. BACK

[12] Charles Manners-Sutton (1755–1828; DNB), Archbishop of Canterbury 1805–1828. Southey did not carry out this proposal, but he did later defend the Church of England in his Book of the Church (1824), dedicated neither to Wilberforce nor the Archbishop but to his old friend Peter Elmsley. BACK

[13] Quarterly Review, 14 (October 1815), published 12 March 1816. BACK

[14] The seventeenth-century travel narrative of the Turk ‘Evlia Effendi’ (Evliya Çelebi) (1611–1682) in the Ottoman Empire. Southey had been asked by Murray to review the manuscript to advise on whether it should be published in England. However, a translation did not appear until Narrative of Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the Seventeenth Century (1834). The translator was probably Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall (1774–1856), who had published a German version in 1814. BACK

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Keswick (mentioned 1 time)