3594. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 29 December 1820

3594. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 29 December 1820⁠* 

My dear G.

Will you find out, which may easily be done, the direction of the Mr Wilson to whom the herewith letter is addressed, & who is a Commissioner of the Customs. I leave it open to satisfy your curiosity, – or rather to excite it. Fill up the direction, seal it, & consign it to the twopenny post. [1]  The letter to which it alludes is such a one, that I put it in a green bag, & laid it upon the table for not the Lords, but for the Ladies. [2] 

I hope Gifford has shown you my allusion to the Boot. [3] 

God bless you


Many & happy new years!

29 Dec. 1820


* Endorsement: 29. Decr 1820
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 1p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The enclosure was Southey to [Glocester Wilson], 29 December 1820, Letter 3596. It enquired about the authenticity of information Southey had received that alleged an inappropriate relationship between John Wesley (1703–1791; DNB) and one of his female followers, Elizabeth Briggs (1751–1822). BACK

[2] The evidence in support of the Bill of Pains and Penalties to deprive Caroline of Brunswick (1768–1821; DNB) of her title of Queen and dissolve her marriage to George IV was famously presented to parliament in two green bags. BACK

[3] Southey’s term for Gifford’s amendments to his Quarterly Review articles; Gifford was an ex-shoemaker, hence the pun. BACK

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