3361. Robert Southey to William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale, 13 October 1819*
Keswick. 13 Oct. 1819.
My friend & neighbour Mr Calvert, having been applied to by Mr James Brougham  to join in the requisition for the Wigton meeting, has requested me to draw up an Address, expressing the very different sentiments with which he (in common with myself) views the present state of xxx affairs.  What I have thus written at his desire, is inclosed for your Lordships inspection. If you deem it advisable that an Address of this nature should be brought forward, any errors in form which it may contain may be corrected, & such alterations made as you may think proper to suggest. And my zealous neighbour desires me to say that he will gladly exert himself in this; or in any other measure which may be thought expedient at this time.
I have the honour to remain
with great respect
Your Lordships obliged & obedient servant
 Following the ‘Peterloo’ Massacre of 16 August 1819, in which local magistrates ordered the dispersal of a public meeting in Manchester, resulting in at least eleven deaths, Whigs in Cumberland started to organise a County Meeting, held on 13 October 1819, to protest at the magistrates’ actions and send an Address to the Prince Regent. A draft of the conservative response drawn up by Southey – an Address to the Prince Regent denouncing the radicals and calling for curbs on the press – was included with this letter. Lowther suggested a few amendments and it was duly circulated; see Southey to Humphrey Senhouse, [15 October 1819], Letter 3366, and Southey to William Peachy, 15 October 1819, Letter 3365. However, this Address was not proceeded with, and the government’s supporters in Cumberland produced instead a more moderate document. BACK