2844. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 16 September 1816

2844. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 16 September 1816⁠* 

Keswick. 16 Sept. 1816.

I have a very valuable M.S Apologia da Companhia de Jesus nos Reynos e Dominios de Portugal, – belonging to Gooden, – a well written folio which he obtained in Brazil, [1]  – which has given me a great deal of excellent information; – & taught me where to search for more. I learn from hence that the Regimento das Missoeus [2]  was printed in 1724 by order of Joam 5. [3]  – the sooner we can procure this the better; – it will be essentially useful for some of the first chapters in my third volume, [4]  – which I shall lose no time about, – but proceed with the press as soon as the second is finished. My history of the Jesuits would have been grievously incompleat without this manuscript of Goodens, where I find facts of main importance, of which no hint is found in Berredo [5]  – tho he hated the Jesuits & these facts might have been wrested to their prejudice. – I have only two chapters to conclude the second volume, [6]  – one which continues the general history is nearly finished, – the other is miscellaneous, – a view of the state of the country & of its manners, – & for this the materials are collected & only require putting together: – here the Life of P. Joam de Almeida [7]  will come in, & the romance of Anchieta, [8]  – or thaumaturgic part of his history.

The Investigador Portuguez has given a long & curious paper upon Mozambique & its dependencies, – which with what Salt has told us gives a clear account of their miserable state. [9]  I learn from the Investigador that some memoirs from 1747 to 1810 have been published in London. Bryer in Bridge Street – Black Friars is the printer, & I suppose the book is to be procured there. You perhaps may know something of the author – Recordaçoeus de Jacome Ratton, Fidalgo Cavalleiro de Caya Real Ex negociante &c [10] 

I wish the Baroness had had a more English name, or one more capable of abbreviation. [11]  – Your half-buck reminds me that I have a haunch at this time in the house, sent by a man whom I never saw, & never before heard of; he has however three good names Fulk Greville Howard, & an Honble prefixed to him – & if it be meant as a letter of introduction, it is one that I very much approve of. [12] 

The List of Governors is arrived. [13]  – My Waterloo companion Nash is with me, & has made beautiful drawings of the four children, – beautiful as specimens of art, as well as admirable in likeness. We spent a few days at Lowther, where Wynn & his brother were at the same time. There we fell in with Davy, who threatens me with a visit. Rogers has been here, & Owen of Lanark, [14]  & the King of Prussia’s Librarian [15]  (a man of great talents & learning) & Glover the Painter, [16]  & the son of the Duke of Brescia. [17] Sir George Beaumont is lodging in the town, & young Westall, who was draughtsman in Flinders’s voyage. [18]  My Tea-Table d’Hote is richly supplied with guests. I expect every day to see Heber, who sent news of his coming by two Bibliopoles from Roscoes sale. [19] 

I lose something in losing Koster from Liverpool. He used to get my books on shore in the moonshine way. – The female part of his family [20]  are still here, economising, & bearing up as you may suppose Mrs K would do against very painful circumstances. They will probably settle in Lisbon. [21] 

I do not xxxxxx forgive Frere for not making Canning remunerate you for your losses at Lisbon, – which ought to have been done, & might have been done so easily. – Frere himself was meant by nature for something better than a statesman, – but he mistook his way, & the usage which he has experienced has given him some reason to repent it. Whenever I travel southward (which may very possibly be sooner than I wish) I shall pay him a visit.

Isabel is recovering from a severe cold. we are all well in other respects. – & now to finish another supply of copy for Pople [22] 

Love to my Xx Aunt & the Bears [23] 


Westall who has seen many parts of the world, with a painters eye (& I might add with a poets fel feeling) tells me that of all the parts which he has seen Madeira is the most beautiful.


* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Streatham/ Surry
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: [illegible]; E/ 19 SE 19/ 1816
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, WC 156. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey thanked Gooden for lending him ‘the Life of F. Joam d’Almeida, among other books, and a manuscript Apology for the Jesuits in Paraguay and Maranham, of great importance’ in his History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), II, p. [v]. BACK

[2] The Rules of the Missions were promulgated in 1686 and set out the terms on which the Jesuit mission stations (‘Reductions’) would operate in Brazil. They were published as Regimento e Leis Sobre as Missões do Estado do Maranhaõ e Parà e Sobre a Liberdade dos Indios (1724). BACK

[3] John V (1689–1750; King of Portugal 1706–1750). BACK

[4] The third and final volume of The History of Brazil (1810–1819) began with the year 1686, the same year in which the Rules of the Missions were promulgated. BACK

[5] Bernardo Pereira de Berredo e Castro (d. 1748), Annaes Historicos do Estado do Maranhaõ (1749), no. 3613 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[6] Chapters 29–30, History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), II, pp. 588–692. BACK

[7] Simão de Vasconcellos (1596–1671), Vida do Padre Joam d’Almeida da Companhia de Jesu, na Provincia do Brazil (1658). This book was also supplied by Gooden. Southey dealt with the life of the Jesuit missionary, John Almeida (1571–1653) in History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), II, pp. 684–689. BACK

[8] Simão de Vasconcellos (1596–1671), Vida do Vener. Padre Joseph de Anchieta, … Taumaturgo do Novo Mundo, na Provincia do Brasil (1672), no. 3799 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. History of Brazil, 3 vols (1810–1819), II, pp. 682–684, dealt with Vasconcellos’s biography of the Jesuit missionary Jose de Anchieta (1534–1597) and with the miracles performed by the latter. BACK

[9] ’Descipcao do estado em que ficavam os Negocios de Mossambique nos fins de Novembro 1789 &c.’, O Investigador Portuguez em Inglaterra, 12 (March 1815), 38–48; (May 1815), 185–195; (June 1815), 375–384; 13 (July 1815), 36–47; (August 1815), 188–196; (September 1815), 328–340; (October 1815), 492–505; 14 (November 1815), 10–22; (December 1815), 166–172. This journal was no. 3409 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Mozambique was also described in Henry Salt (1780–1827; DNB), A Voyage to Abyssinia: and Travels into the Interior of that Country Executed Under the Orders of the British Government, in the Years 1809 and 1810; in Which Are Included, an Account of the Portuguese Settlements on the East Coast of Africa, Visited in the Course of the Voyage; a Concise Narrative of Late Events in Arabia Felix; and Some Particulars Respecting the Aboriginal African Tribes, Extending from Mosambique to the Borders of Egypt (1814). BACK

[10] Recordações de Jacome Ratton: Sobre Ocorrências do seu Tempo, de Maio de 1747 a Setembro de 1810 (1813). This work was the memoir of Jacome Ratton (1736–1820), a Franco-Portuguese businessman in exile in England. It was printed by Henry Bryer (dates unknown). BACK

[11] Hill’s daughter, Georgiana. BACK

[12] Hon. Fulke Greville Howard (1773–1846), son of Clotworthy Upton, 1st Lord Templetown (1721–1785) and MP for Castle Rising 1808–1832. He inherited Levens Hall in the Lake District in 1817. Howard had been a fellow schoolboy of Southey’s at Westminster 1786–1791. BACK

[13] See Southey to Herbert Hill, 15 May 1816 (Letter 2789), for his request for lists of Governors of Brazilian provinces. BACK

[14] Robert Owen (1771–1858; DNB), manager and owner of the mills and model community at New Lanark in Scotland 1799–1825. BACK

[15] Samuel Heinrich Spiker (1786–1858). An English translation of his account of his experiences in Britain, including his meeting with Southey, was later published as Travels through England, Wales, & Scotland, in the Year 1816, 2 vols (London, 1820), I, pp. 269–272. Naturally, Spiker was most interested in Southey’s library. BACK

[16] John Glover (1767–1849; DNB), the watercolour painter who owned Blowick Farm in Patterdale, on Ullswater. BACK

[17] Unidentified. BACK

[18] Matthew Flinders (1774–1814; DNB), on whose voyage to Australia in 1801–1804, Westall was the official artist. BACK

[19] Roscoe’s business was in financial difficulties owing to the economic recession of 1816. He was forced to sell his library; the sale occupied fourteen days in Liverpool in August 1816. Southey normally described members of the book trade as ‘bibliopoles’, e.g. John Murray. His visitors here are unidentified. BACK

[20] John Theodore Koster had seven daughters: Harriet (b. 1780); Charlotte (b. 1783); Juliana Elizabeth (1788–1790); Maria Susanna (d. 1790); Lucretia (1795–1822); Emma (1797–1817); and Elizabeth (1799–1875). BACK

[21] Koster’s move from Liverpool was forced by the bankruptcy of his business, affected, like Roscoe’s, by the 1816 recession. The family returned to Birkenhead Priory after retrenching in Keswick. BACK

[22] Southey’s History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

[23] The Hills’ children. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)
Lowther estate (mentioned 1 time)