3070. Robert Southey to Charlotte Broome, 28 January 1818

3070. Robert Southey to Charlotte Broome, 28 January 1818 ⁠* 

Keswick. 28 Jany. 1818


A letter like yours requires no apology, – I understand but too well the feeling in which it has originated. [1]  Something I will certainly send you, which if it should not exactly suit its intended purpose, may rest among your papers: when this may be, it would be unwise to promise, – for I must first be satisfied with the thought, & then with the execution. But it shall be borne in mind, & I shall feel myself in debt till it is done.

It is curious that I should never till this evening have known that Clement Francis [2]  was the nephew of my old acquaintance Capt Burney, – in the fumes of whose pipe I have passed so many a pleasant evening hour! Had I known this, I should not have found it necessary to make enquiry concerning him some three months ago of Mr Wilberforce. [3]  His late host at the Grange [4]  was desirous of sending him a pot of honey as a mark of respect, – a circumstance which pleased me much, as saying a great deal for both parties.

Believe me Madam

Yours obediently

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Mrs Broome/ Under the Hill/ Richmond/ Surry
Stamped: KESWICK
Postmarks: E./31 JA 31/1818; 10 o’Clock/ JA. 31/1818 F.N.n
Seal: black wax; arm raising aloft cross of Lorraine
Watermark: B. E. & S. BATH/ 1814
MS: Morgan Library, MA 63. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Broome had requested that Southey write an epitaph for her son Ralph Broome (1801–1817), who was also the nephew of Southey’s old friend, James Burney. BACK

[2] Clement Robert Francis (1792–1829), later a clergyman and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He was Charlotte Broome’s son by her first marriage. BACK

[3] Southey to William Wilberforce, 11 October 1817, Letter 3028. BACK

[4] A local farmer at Grange, Borrowdale had hosted Clement Francis on a study visit to the Lakes in 1817. BACK

People mentioned

Burney, James (1750–1821) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)