1947. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 4 September 1811

1947. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 4 September 1811 ⁠* 

Keswick. Sept. 4. 1811.

My dear Rickman

Here I am at last, after twelve weeks absence, & a journey of nearly 900 miles. We got home on Monday, & found every thing well. Never was a more fortunate journey, – we had only two wet days during the whole time, which was while we were with Turner, – & we never met with accident let or hindrance of any kind.

The map & the boxes from Palace Yard arrived before me. That from Streatham has not yet made its appearance. I found also a letter from Abella, announcing another packet at Longmans. So good & trusty a correspondent is not to be neglected, & I inclose a reply to him. I have sent him the two Registers Pikes’ Travels, & Dr Bell’s book on Education. [1]  These with my four quartos, Espriella & Thalaba [2]  which he took with him, strikes a fair balance thus far in our literary commerce. I am very much indebted to this good Spaniard, – Robinson says his conversation is that of a very weak man, he certainly does not write like one.

I have found out in the Shrewsbury Guide that the Capitaneus had an Uncle called Askeboleham! [3] 

Poole is a stout Bullionist & a zealous Emancipator. I left Edith at Bristol while I went to Taunton. On our way home we halted successfully at Lanthony with Landor, at Ludlow with a family who resided here during two summers, [4]  at Teddesley with Miss Barker & with Wynn at Llangedwin. Dined with the Ladies of Llangollen on our way from thence, [5]  halted again at Liverpool, & then took the mail to Kendal.

The aqueduct over the Dee between Oswestry & Wrexham is the most stupendous work of art I ever beheld. It made me giddy to look over a canal about 12 feet wide, immediately upon a precipice of 170.

Wynn is not so far gone in despair as the rest of the Gregres. [6]  That party think the most probable change will be the re entrance of Canning & the retirement of Perceval, to make room for Catholic Emancipation, to which neither Wellesley nor Canning are adverse. I doubt this, believing that Perceval is too popular to be displaced upon so unpopular a ground, & that Canning has bust himself upon the split upon the Bullion rock.

Remember us to Mrs R. with many thanks for all her kindness. Mrs Coleridge & Mrs L. desire to thank you for the tippets. I hope “Little Anne” & her sister [7]  are as well as we have found all ours.

Yours in hurry & bustle



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ 4 Septr. 1811
MS: Huntington Library, RS 176. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808 (1810) and Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809 (1811); Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779–1813), Travels Through the Western Territories of North America (1811); and probably Andrew Bell, An Analysis of an Experiment in Education (1805). BACK

[2] The quartos were Southey’s Joan of Arc (1796), Madoc (1805), The Curse of Kehama (1810), and the History of Brazil, vol. 1 (1810). Southey had also sent editions of Letters from England (1807) and Thalaba the Destroyer (1801). BACK

[3] Possibly The Shrewsbury Guide and Salopian Directory (1786). Percy Scholes (1877–1958; DNB), The Great Dr Burney: his Life, his Travels, his Works, his Family, his Friends, 2 vols (Oxford, 1948), II, 315, suggests ‘Askeboleham’ is a mistake in St Marys, Shrewsbury’s parish register for ‘Ashburnham’ Mack-Burney, an older half-brother of Captain Burney’s father, born in 1714. BACK

[4] Wade Browne and his family. BACK

[6] The Whigs, led by Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845; DNB), Prime Minister 1830–1834; and the followers of William Grenville, Foreign Secretary 1791–1801, Prime Minister 1806–1807. ‘Gregres’ were idols of wood and clay in West Africa. BACK

[7] Ann Rickman (b. 1808) and her younger sister, Frances. BACK

People mentioned

Abella, Manuel (1753–1817) (mentioned 1 time)