2994. Robert Southey to John May, 11 May 1817

2994. Robert Southey to John May, 11 May 1817⁠* 

My dear friend

You will be pleased to hear that the Equitable Insurance Office has got nothing as yet by my venturing to sea uninsured. [1]  We landed at seven this morning – after lying the whole of the night off the harbour: in still rainy weather, – & here I am cleansed, refreshed & with a good breakfast in Port L’Estomec. The day has cleared, & we in all the hurry of settling accounts, engaging carriages (for Mrs Vardon has accompanied us thus far on her way to Brussels) &c, – that we start as soon as possible for Boulogne –

Remember me most kindly to Mrs May & believe me my dear friend

Yrs most affectionately


Harry will have told you of Murrays offer to produce half the sum required. I hope this will not double the difficulty of raising the other thousand according to the principle which you explained to me. [2] 

Calais. Sunday morning 11 May. 1817.


* Watermark: [partial] crown and anchor
Endorsement: No. 193 1817/ Robert Southey/ Calais 11th May/ recd. 14th do./ ansd. personally
MS: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin. ALS; 1p.
Previously published: Charles Ramos (ed.), The Letters of Robert Southey to John May: 1797–1838 (Austin, Texas, 1976), pp. 155–156. BACK

[1] John May was a Director of the Equitable Life Assurance Society (founded 1762) and Southey had insured his life with the company; presumably his policy did not pay out if he was lost at sea. BACK

[2] This refers to Southey’s plans to raise the money to buy Greta Hall, should this become necessary, as the estate was about to come on the market. BACK

Places mentioned

Greta Hall/ Greeta Hall (mentioned 1 time)