2944. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 17 March [1817]

2944. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 17 March [1817] ⁠* 

My dear Wynn

If you think it is proper for me to notice Wm Smiths rascally attack, [1]  – send the inclosed to the Courier. [2]  As neither he nor I are Duellists no harm will come of it. – & he will not be very ready to engage in a paper war, with one who knows how to thrust as well as to parry. – I thank you for defending me; [3]  – & wish the Courier had reported upon your reply as fully as it did the provocation.

I should like to discover by whom Wat Tyler was published, [4]  – I know not what has been done since the second affidavit [5]  was returned, – & am surprized at not hearing. [6]  It is now of no other consequence to apply for the injunction, – than as a formal & legal disavowal on my part of the publication.

God bless you


Monday. 17 March.


* Address: [deletions and readdress in another hand] To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqre M.P./ Hamilton Place/ London/ <Norton Priory/ Warrington/ Acton/ Wrexham>
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: FREE/ 20 MR 20/ 1817; [partial] FREE
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Smith had denounced Southey in the House of Commons on 14 March 1817 in the debate on the Seditious Meetings Bill, condemning ‘the settled, determined malignity of a renegado’ and comparing Southey’s arguments against radical views in Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 227 with those expressed in Wat Tyler (1817), Act 2, lines 103–112. BACK

[2] The letter to William Smith, 17 March 1817 (Letter 2943) was not published in the Courier. BACK

[3] As soon as Smith had spoken in the Commons on 14 March, Wynn had replied in Southey’s defence. BACK

[4] The firm of William Sherwood (1776–1837), Samuel Dunbar Neely (dates unknown) and Robert Jones (dates unknown) had published Southey’s early Jacobin play, Wat Tyler, without his knowledge. BACK

[5] Southey’s affidavit of 8 March 1817. BACK

[6] Southey’s case was heard in the Court of Chancery on 18–19 March 1817. BACK

People mentioned

Smith, William (1756–1835) (mentioned 1 time)