2820. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 July [1816]

2820. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 July [1816]⁠* 

My dear G.

I have had a very handsome letter from Sir R Gardiner [1]  in the Princesss name, talking of ‘sincere pleasure’ in receiving this mark of attention & especially in the praise of Prince Leopold. [2]  The letter is so written as to show that she really is pleased with the poem.

The court-volume [3]  is arrived, & does great credit to your taste & to the Hyde [4]  whom you employed on the occasion

Mr Nash has made a beautiful drawing from the bust, [5]  & is sketching here all in all directions. Would that your Mother were well enough to let you run down & join him here. I am idling with him, –if it can be called idling when half my time I am sneezing & blowing my nose

There is some chance of seeing Wynn here. I am heartily glad <that> he has got a son, [6]  & as the son is never likely to acknowledge that is a misfortune to be born a Welshman, there is no reason to pity him on that account

God bless you


10 July.


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ 9 Stafford Row
Endorsements: 10 July 1816; 10 July 1816/ Recd 19 July
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 3p.
Dating note: Year from endorsement. BACK

[1] General Sir Robert Gardiner (1781–1864; DNB), veteran of the Peninsular War and Waterloo; Principal Equerry from 1816 until 1831 to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1790–1865; King of the Belgians 1831–1865; husband of Princess Charlotte). BACK

[2] A letter thanking Southey for his presentation of The Lay of the Laureate. Carmen Nuptiale (1816), an epithalamion celebrating the marriage of Princess Charlotte, only child of the Prince Regent, to Prince Leopold on 2 May 1816. BACK

[3] The copy of The Lay of the Laureate. Carmen Nuptiale (1816), no. 2694 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, was described as ‘elegantly bound in morocco, lined with silk, richly tooled, and gilt leaves.’ BACK

[4] That is, the bookbinder who had ‘clothed’ the pages: Hyde (d. 1820) was Southey’s London tailor. BACK

[5] A bust of Southey was sculpted by James Smith (1775–1815) in 1813. An engraving of Nash’s sketch of this bust was reproduced in the one volume edition of The Doctor (1848). BACK

[6] Henry Watkin Williams-Wynn (1816–1832), Wynn’s first son to survive, born on 29 June 1816. BACK

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