3472. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 26 April 1820

3472. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 26 April 1820⁠* 

Ludlow. Wedn. 26 Apr. 1820.

My dear Edith

I arrived here this morning, & as you may suppose, met with a most cordial welcome. Both the Miss Bs are here. [1] Mr B looking very little, if at all the worse for the years which have passed over his head since you & I were here, & Mrs B looking the better for them. My stay at Llangedwin was longer than I intended, but it could not be otherwise: for on the Friday we were too uncertain of Mrs Wynns recovery to go far from the house: [2]  Saturday the gig conveyed was xxxxxxx to bring Miss Cunliffe [3]  from Oswestry, when we should otherwise have employed it; & when I would have gone on Monday Wynn would not let me, but insisted upon taking me to Pennant Melangle, which being one of the scenes in Madoc, [4]  I was in duty bound to see, & he to shew me. Yesterday he sent me to Shrewsbury, where I slept. I came on this morning. Kenyon has not been gone long, & I shall find him in London.

Wade [5]  is at Rome: he means to walk thro Switzerland this summer. & to pass two years more in travelling.

At Llangedwin I received a letter from Longman telling me that 1000 copies of Wesley had sold within the week: & that the sale continued so brisk that it would be advisable soon to put another edition to the press. [6]  1500 were printed. Please to look in my desk for two leaves of Wesley with some corrections upon them, (you will find them in the front part, some of the uppermost things there) & inclose them under cover to Rickman. You see I may promise you a roll before the year is over.

I began a letter to Shedaw last night, but was too weary to finish it My intention is to take my place from hence on Saturday, & so reach London on Sunday. I would rather not travel on the Sunday: but after coming here I cannot stay less than two clear days, – & cannot afford two more which it would take if my departure were put off till Monday.

Wynn had very nearly lost his wife. She was constantly sick & frequently fainting for four & twenty hours, – the effect it was supposed of an internal hæmorrhage. She has now miscarried four times successively. For my part I have declared that I will not come till the christening xxxx whenever I make another visit to that house. He has six fine children. [7] 

– Thistlewood [8]  had settled that he was to murder the Duke of Wellington with his own hand, & to publish that the Duke had gone down upon his knees to beg for life, & died like a coward

Tell the children [9]  I shall write to them all in turn. We have had the cuckoo at Llangedwin, & I thought of Cuthbert.

God bless you – love to all.



* Address: To/ Mrs Southey/ Keswick/ Cumberland
Postmark: AP 26/ 1820
Stamped: LUDLOW
MS: British Library, Add MS 47888. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Two of Wade Browne’s daughters: Sarah and Mary (dates unknown). BACK

[2] Mary Williams Wynn had suffered a miscarriage. BACK

[3] A relative of Wynn’s wife, Mary Williams Wynn, née Cunliffe. BACK

[4] Madoc (1805), Part One, Book 10, lines 144–190, describes the hero’s visit to St Melangell’s Church, Pennant Melangell. BACK

[5] Wade Browne (1796–1851), only son of Wade Browne and later a country gentleman at Monkton Farleigh in Somerset. He had graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1819. BACK

[6] Southey’s The Life of Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism (1820). It went into a second edition in 1820. BACK

[7] The Wynns had a growing family of five daughters: Charlotte (1807–1869), Mary (1808–1869), Harriet (1812–1878), Emma (1814–1824), and Sidney (1818–1867); and one son, Watkin (1816–1832). Their final child was Charles (1822–1896). BACK

[8] Arthur Thistlewood (1774–1820; DNB), a participant in the Cato Street conspiracy to assassinate the Cabinet, which was broken up on 23 February 1820. BACK

[9] Edith May, Bertha, Kate, Isabel and Cuthbert Southey. BACK

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