3606. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 13 January [1821]

3606. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 13 January [1821] ⁠* 

My dear R.

I am obliged to Miss F.R. [1]  for her paper of dates. – No formal application has been made to me about the Constitutional Association, [2]  – only this Address was sent me by Mrs Hughes (wife of the Prebend who officiated before the Q. at St Pauls [3] ) – in its epistolary forms, – & in the New Times [4]  by Dr. S. I am therefore not called upon to make a formal answer. As for the scheme itself I entirely agree with you that it is administering slops where drastics are required.

I have had a great loss in my poor friend & fellow traveller Nash, with whom at home & abroad I had spent more than one whole year out of the last five. He left us at the beginning of November, – & last week I received a letter to inform me of his death. I had a very great regard for him – - & in middle age, the loss of a friend is like that of a limb: – the wound heals – but the loss is felt as long as you live.

God bless you


13 Jany. 1820.


* Endorsement: Fr RS./ 13 Jany 1821
MS: Huntington Library, RS 383. ALS; 3p.
Dating note: Misdated ‘1820’ by Southey. The content makes it clear that the letter belongs to 1821. BACK

[1] Rickman’s daughter, Frances Rickman (dates unknown). BACK

[2] The Morning Post, 8 January 1821, announced the formation of the Constitutional Association to promote prosecutions of radical newspapers and books. BACK

[3] George IV had persuaded his Cabinet to promote a Bill of Pains and Penalties to divorce his wife, Queen Caroline (1768–1821; DNB). The Bill was dropped after it only passed the House of Lords by nine votes, and Caroline had attended a service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 29 November 1820 to give thanks for her triumph. Thomas Hughes was a Canon Residentiary at St Paul’s. He did not conduct the service on 29 November, but he was instrumental in ensuring Caroline was not mentioned by name at any time in the proceedings. BACK

[4] The New Times (1817–1828) was a pro-government daily newspaper. BACK

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