113. Robert Southey and Margaret Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 6 November [1794]

113. Robert Southey and Margaret Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 6 November [1794] ⁠* 

[section by Margaret Southey begins]

My Dear Child

I received your last the day after you wrote it and should have answered it before could I have said any thing to the purpose Robert was then in Bristol and I was in hopes he would have had some money if so he would have sent you some — how ever I must let you draw on me for 2 or 3 Guineas more then that I cannot answer I wish I could but I am my self much embarased — I suppose you got your Brs last letter in which he told you of his departure from your aunts all to gather it is a fine kettle of fish I have got Hary Harry at home now she is as you may suppose very angry — I wish we were all safe in America for I am heartily tired of my present situation — My House [1]  is tolerable full at present but I shall soon lose part of them — your letter distresst me very much was I in a situation you should not want money but you know how I am embarased R is now with me and is hurt it is not in his power to do something for you —

you will not Exceed 3 Guineas and let it be at seven days sight I hope this will Come in time for you to get your things washed — your aunt Mary has been with me near a fortnight she is looking out for a situation — let me hear from you as soon as you get this — your aunt M and Peggy join with me in Love

yours affectionately

M Southey

Bath Novbr ye 6th

[section by Margaret Southey ends]

Would we were in America! we shall form a most delectable society!

poor Shad leads a fine time in the Green. I am a great monster a bad man & an ugly Christian there. Tom I feel the full conviction of rectitude & pity those who execrate me.

Dear Tom — I am unable to send you any cash yet. am in hopes ere long.

Hardy [2]  has been tried for high treason — his trial lasted eight days & he was acquitted.

our American <scheme> goes on right well. Burnett is with me & sends fraternity.

[MS torn]ald [3]  Holcroft & Godwin [4]  the three first [MS torn]n in England perhaps in the world highly approve our plan.

I am writing a tragedy on my Uncle Wat Tyler [5]  who knockd out a tax gatherers brains & then rose in rebellion.

our toast to day was

May there never be wanting a Wat Tyler whilst there is a Tax gatherer.

Fare thee well.


* Address: [in Margaret Southey’s hand] Mr Southey/ Aquilon Frigate/ Torbay/ post paid
Stamped: BATH
MS: British Library, Add MS 47890. AL; 4p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 85–86 [in part; Southey’s section only reproduced]. BACK

[1] Margaret Southey ran a boarding house at 8 Westgate Buildings, Bath. BACK

[2] Thomas Hardy (1752–1832; DNB). BACK

[3] Probably Joseph Gerrald (1763–1796; DNB). BACK

[4] Thomas Holcroft (1745–1809; DNB) and William Godwin (1756–1836; DNB). Robert Lovell probably met one or both of them during his visit to London in autumn 1794. BACK

[5] Southey liked to joke that he was a collateral descendant of Wat Tyler (d. 1381; DNB), one of the leaders of the Peasant’s Revolt. Southey’s play Wat Tyler was written in summer–autumn 1794, but not published until it appeared without his consent in 1817. BACK

Places mentioned

College Green, Bristol (mentioned 1 time)