2933. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 3 March [1817]

2933. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 3 March [1817] ⁠* 

My dear Tom

I sent a parcel of books to you some fortnight ago, by carrier, to Tinklers. [1]  You do not mention them, so I apprehend they have not arrived, – make enquiry therefore.

Hobhouse [2]  & Koster [3]  came safe.

Do you remember my red-hot Wat Tyler, which I wrote in 1794? Ridgeway & Symonds [4]  had it at that time to publish anonymously, which they undertook to do, & did not – From that time to this I never thought of it, – & now it is published, [5]  – & Brougham has attacked me about it in the H of Commons. [6]  – How little harm this can do me, & how little it can annoy me you may easily conceive. Wynn & Turner & Harry are to settle among themselves whether to sue for an Injunction for which the previous steps have been taken. [7]  But most likely it will be thought best to let the matter alone, as utterly unworthy notice.

My article has been grievously mutilated ‘in compassion to the terror of ministers.’ [8]  They intreat that they may not be called upon by their friends for expenditure, for they have no money. The Sinking Fund they look to as a resource in case of war whenever it may come. Meantime things are mending every where, & perhaps next year may give a surplus revenue.

The Champion has been sold by Scott, [9]  & is got into the hands of a mere oppositionist. [10]  If you get a daily paper let it be the New Times, – which the former editor of the Old Times conducts. [11] 

I shall certainly be with you in April, & not later than the second week.

God bless you. Love to Sarah, – in haste, – & in a tremendous gale of wind

RS.

3 March.


Notes

* Address: To/ Capt. Southey/ Warcop Hall/ near/ Brough
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: British Library, Add MS 30927. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished.
Dating note: Dating from content, this was written at the time of the publication of Wat Tyler. BACK

[1] Thomas Tinkler (c. 1754–1824) of Brough; landlord of the Wheatsheaf Inn, Warcop, where deliveries for Thomas Southey could be left because the mail coach stopped there. BACK

[2] John Cam Hobhouse, 1st Baron Broughton (1786–1869; DNB), A Journey Through Albania, and Other Provinces of Turkey in Europe and Asia, to Constantinople During the Years 1809 and 1810 (1813). BACK

[3] Koster’s Travels in Brazil (1816) was reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 16 (January 1817), 344–387. BACK

[4] James Ridgway (1755–1838) and Henry Symonds (1741–1816), radical booksellers to whom Southey sent the manuscript of Wat Tyler in 1794; see Robert Southey to Edith Fricker, [c. 12 January 1795], The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part One, Letter 123. BACK

[5] Southey learned of the publication through a piece in the Morning Chronicle, 12 February 1817. BACK

[6] On 24 February 1817, in the debate on the Seditious Meetings Bill, Brougham had contrasted the government’s prosecution of radical writers with its refusal to take action against Southey’s Wat Tyler. BACK

[7] Southey did apply for an injunction against the publication of Wat Tyler; he lost his case on 18–19 March 1817. BACK

[8] Southey’s ‘Parliamentary Reform’, Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 225–278 (published 11 February 1817). Southey’s quotation is from a letter he received from William Gifford. BACK

[9] John Scott (1783–1821; DNB), author and journalist; The Champion (1814–1822) was a weekly paper of liberal views, which Scott had founded. BACK

[10] The Champion had been sold in 1816 to Joseph Clayton Jennings (1757–1839), West Indian lawyer and radical. In 1815 he accepted a government post in Demerara, but was made bankrupt in 1819. In later life he was a conservative and defender of slavery. His private life was notably dissolute. BACK

[11] John Stoddart (1773–1856; DNB) was the editor of The Times until dismissed, at the end of 1816, for the intemperate Toryism of his articles. In 1817 he was made editor of a new, pro-ministerial paper, the New Times (1817–1828). BACK

Exports

JSON What's this?
As you're browsing RC, you might see small buttons scattered on various pages. These buttons let you download that page's content in a ready-to-use data file! Learn more on our RC Data page.