3558. Robert Southey to Humphrey Senhouse, 16 November 1820

3558. Robert Southey to Humphrey Senhouse, 16 November 1820⁠* 

Keswick. 16 Nov. 1820.

My dear Senhouse

We shall be right glad to see you, & I wish we could offer beds for all, but my Aunt is with us, & therefore we can only make up one, which will be ready for Miss Wood & Catharine. [1]  I am sorry to see you allude to her weak health; – if however that weakness be the effect of the severe trial she underwent in the summer, it is hardly possible that she should yet have thoroughly recovered from such an exhaustion.

Nash left us this day fortnight, – week after week we had flattered ourselves with the hope of seeing you while he was here. – Among the few enjoyments to which he looks on in winter, that of your wintering in town seems to be one of the greatest.

Keswick was illuminated last night in honour of Carolina purissima sin pecado concebida. [2]  King Mob however for once was magnanimous, & offered no violence to those windows which were in darkness.

We shall look for you about tea time. My daughter Edith is at Rydale with Miss Hutchinson, – it will be a great mortification to her thus to have missed you. The rest of the family desire their kindest remembrances.

I am grieved to hear of Lord Lonsdales illness, & most sincerely wish for his recovery on every possible account. A Westmorland election at this time would be a miserable thing. [3] 

God bless you my dear friend

yrs affectionately

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Humphrey Senhouse Esqre/ Netherhall/ Maryport
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Seal: red wax, design illegible
MS: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Robert Southey Papers A.S727. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Mary Anne Wood (1781–1860), Senhouse’s cousin, and Catherine Senhouse (d. 1853), Senhouse’s daughter, who had been ill with small pox. BACK

[2] ‘Purest Caroline, conceived without sin’; a parody of the prayer of intercession ‘Ave Maria’ and thus an ironic comment on the moral character of Caroline of Brunswick (1768–1821; DNB), the estranged wife of George IV. Parts of Keswick were celebrating the withdrawal of the Bill of Pains and Penalties, which had aimed to deprive Caroline of the title of Queen and to dissolve her marriage to the King. The decision not to continue with it was made after the Third Reading of the Bill in the House of Lords on 10 November 1820, when the government majority was only nine votes and it seemed very unlikely the Bill could pass the House of Commons. BACK

[3] If the Earl of Lonsdale died, he would be succeeded in the Earldom, and his seat in the House of Lords, by his eldest son William Lowther, Viscount Lowther (1787–1872), MP for Cockermouth 1808–1813 and Westmorland 1813–1831, 1832–1841. This would mean Lowther would have to vacate his seat in Westmorland and there would be a by-election, which Southey feared would be contested by Brougham, who had fought the seat in 1818 and earlier in 1820. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 2 times)
Rydal Mount (mentioned 1 time)