3481. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 12 [May 1820]

3481. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 12 [May 1820]⁠* 

My dear Edith

I am a little uneasy at not receiving any letter from home since that of the 30th. Willing as the children [1]  expressed themselves to write, & with so many of them, – from one or other, or altogether, they <you> might contrive let me know once a week how you are going on. – The twenty minutes which I have to spare would have been employed in beginning a letter to Bell, if I had not been disappointed in my expectations of finding one on my return from the mornings business, & therefore put out of the spirits required for writing in that strain. You must be contented therefore with merely hearing how my time has been past. Friday last I breakfasted with Miss Wordsworth at her brothers, & dined at Marianne’s [2]  – a large party. Saturday at Harry Inglis’s where I slept. Sunday Mrs Gonnes. Monday breakfasted with Turner dined with Kenyon & met Coleridge & Derwent there. Tuesday breakfast with Henry Robinson, – walked to Wapping to see the sister [3]  of Elton Hamond, dined with the Imperial General. Wednesday breakfasted with Dr Ashburner [4]  to meet Rex & his daughter Zoe, [5]  – but they had been called off the evening before. however I met D Jardine & his wife. [6]  – then to the Levee [7]  with Wynn, then to dinner at Murraylemagnes. Thursday breakfast with Dr Wordsworth, worked all the morning in the Lambeth library, dinner with a large uncomfortable party at Mrs Vardons. This morning worked again at Lambeth, & now must dress to dine with D’Israeli.

My dinner engagements stand thus – tomorrow Rickman, – Sunday G.C.B. Monday Sir George B. Tuesday at home. Wednesday with Harrys friend Mrs Cookson [8] . Thursday Mr Butler. Friday Wilber Saturday Sunday Monday Richmond. Tuesday Courtenay. Wednesday Mr Bill. Thursday ____. Friday D Jardine, – & on Saturday if I receive the answer which I hope for from Bunbury [9]  I go for Cambridge.

At present I am heartily tired. love to the children, & do let me hear from home a little more frequently.

God bless you


Friday 12thQ Anne Street


* Address: To/ Mrs Southey/ Keswick/ Cumberland
Postmark: A MY/ 12/ 1820
Endorsement: 12 May 1820
MS: British Library, Add MS 47888. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Edith May, Bertha, Kate, and Isabel Southey. Their brother Cuthbert was an infant. BACK

[2] Mary Anne March, née Gonne (b. 1792), Henry Herbert Southey’s sister-in-law. BACK

[3] Harriott Hamond (b. 1788), who had shared a house with her brother. BACK

[4] John Archibald Ashburner (1793–1878). Born in Mumbai, India, he studied medicine at Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh, graduating with an M.D. in 1816. He was Physician to the Small-Pox Hospital in London 1818–1824. He then went to India, but returned and later held posts at Queen Charlotte’s Lying-in Hospital and St Thomas’s Hospital. BACK

[5] Zoe King (1803–1881). BACK

[6] Sarah Jardine (d. 1860). BACK

[7] The first levée of George IV’s reign on 10 May 1820. BACK

[8] Possibly a relative of Wordsworth’s uncle, William Cookson (d. 1820), Canon of Windsor 1792–1820. BACK

[9] Bunbury had offered Southey information for his History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832); see Southey to Sir Henry Bunbury, 8 May 1820, Letter 3480. BACK

Places mentioned


JSON What's this?
As you're browsing RC, you might see small buttons scattered on various pages. These buttons let you download that page's content in a ready-to-use data file! Learn more on our RC Data page.