3660. Robert Southey to Richard Tighe, 26 March 1821

3660. Robert Southey to Richard Tighe, 26 March 1821⁠* 

Keswick. Cumberland. 26 March. 1821

Sir

I have this day received your parcel, which appears to have travelled from Liverpool to London. I thank you for the book & for the Tracts, [1]  & have already looked into them enough to see much that I approve, & nothing which I hesitate to approve, except the opinion which you have expressed of Behmen. [2]  – Be that as it may, – the extracts which you have given will certainly induce me to become better acquainted with the writings of Mr Law; [3]  & there is a wise, a charitable, a truly Christian spirit in the orginal part, which entitles the author to high respect.

I remain therefore dear Sir

respectfully & thankfully

Yours

Robert Southey.


Notes

* Address: To/ Richard Tighe Esqre/ Rathmines/ Dublin
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: [partial] O’CLO/ 30 MR/ 1821 AN; 30 MR 30/ 1821
Seal: black wax; design illegible
Endorsement: Robt. Southey/ 1821
MS: University of Kentucky Library. ALS; 2p. (c).
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Probably Tighe’s A Short Account of the Life and Writings of the Late Rev. William Law (1813); a copy of this was no. 298 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Tighe also wrote religious tracts and had probably sent some of these to Southey; for example, Testimonies from Sacred Scripture, with Propositions Relating to the Glory and Extent of the Kingdom of God (1811). These items had travelled from Dublin to Liverpool, and then, instead of being sent directly to Keswick, had gone to London. BACK

[2] The German mystic and theologian Jakob Böhme (also called Jacob Boehme, and Behmen; 1575–1624), praised by Tighe in A Short Account of the Life and Writings of the Late Rev. William Law (London, 1813), p. 23. Southey may have disliked the way in which Tighe emphasised the importance of original sin to Böhme’s thought. BACK

[3] The devotional writer and non-juror William Law (1686–1761; DNB), whose mid and late career works were greatly influenced by Böhme. Extracts from Law’s writings were included in Tighe’s A Short Account of the Life and Writings of the Late Rev. William Law (London, 1813), pp. 41–76. Law was an important influence on John Wesley (1703–1791; DNB), whose biography Southey had written in The Life of Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism (1820). The Tighe family were early supporters of Wesley in Ireland, hence Richard Tighe’s interest in Law and his belief that Southey would find Law’s works fascinating. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)

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