3741. Robert Southey to John Murray, 21 October 1821

3741. Robert Southey to John Murray, 21 October 1821⁠* 

Keswick. 21 Oct. 1821.

My dear Sir

I have begun the review of Dobrizhoffer. [1]  It might well have surprized the good old Jesuit [2]  if he had known that his English translator was to be a delicate & beautiful girl – not yet nineteen. The real history of the translation which you ought to know (but which is not to be publicly known) is that Derwent Coleridge undertook it for the cogent reason stated when I pro proposed it to you. [3] His sister offered to assist him, – & that assistance ended in her translating the whole, except a very small part of the first volume. The review will be a very entertaining article.

Have the goodness to send copies to Coleridge, at Mr Gillmans, [4]  Highgate. Hartley Coleridge No. 1. Grays Inn Square. Derwent Coleridge, St Johns Col. Cambridge. John T. Coleridge 2 Pump Court – Middle Temple. Revd Wm H. Coleridge – whose address I do not know, but it may be sent to John Coleridges care. 2 copies <directed> to Dr Crompton, Eton near Liverpool. [5] Ch. Lloyd Esqr. Junr. Birmingham. Thos Poole Esqr. Stowey near Bridgewater. & six copies here.

Thiebaults book [6]  arrived just in time. It was quite essential, – & I waited for it, – otherwise the press would not now be waiting for the tenth chapter. [7]  But the printer [8]  will receive a supply in the course of the week. – I was lately at Lowther for a week; where Lord Fred. Bentinck offered to procure information upon any needful point from his brother Lord Wm & from Lord Hill. [9]  – There ought to be plans of all the English battles, they may be engraved on stone, the size of the page. [10]  Three only are required for the first volume, the battles of Rolissa, Vimeiro & Coruña Coruña. [11] 

I look anxiously for those Spanish materials which you are seeking to procure, especially the second volume of the official history [12]  which it would have been very desirable to have had sooner. – Mr R. Wellesleys books [13]  are very useful. There is among them a collection of official & other papers with this title Demostracion de la Lealtad Española, but 3 & 4th volumes are wanting. [14]  If they could be borrowed for me I have reason to think they would be of signal service.

There is at Lowther an invaluable collection of Tracts of the age of the Rebellion. [15]  I spent my mornings among them & collected many curious Cromwelliana. [16] 

Believe me my dear Sir

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey

In your next parcel please to send me two or three copies of the “Origin Nature & Object.” [17] 


* Address: To/ John Murray Esqre.
Watermark: G PAINE/ 1816
Endorsement: Oct 21. 1821/ R Southey Esq
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42552. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey reviewed Sara Coleridge’s translation, An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay (1822), in Quarterly Review 26 (January 1822), 277–323. BACK

[2] Martin Dobrizhoffer (1717–1791), author of the Historia de Abiponibus Equestri, Bellicosaque Paraquariae Natione (1784), the text translated by Sara Coleridge. BACK

[3] i.e. Derwent needed to raise funds for his education at Cambridge University. BACK

[4] James Gillman (1782–1839), the doctor in whose household Coleridge lived at Highgate. BACK

[5] Dr Peter Crompton (1760–1833) of Eaton House, Liverpool, a wealthy radical who supported John Thelwall in the 1790s and who contested elections at Nottingham (1796, 1807, 1812), Preston (1818) and Liverpool (1820). Sara Coleridge had stayed with him in Liverpool on a number of occasions. BACK

[6] Paul Charles François Adrien Henri Dieudonne Thiébault (1769–1846), French General and commander in the Peninsular War; author of Relation de l’Expedition du Portugal Faite en 1807 et 1808 (1817). BACK

[7] i.e. the tenth chapter of the first volume of Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (London, 1823–1832), I, pp. 425–525. BACK

[8] Thomas Davison (1766–1831). BACK

[9] Lord William Frederick Cavendish Bentinck (1781–1828), MP for Weobley 1816–1824, MP for Queenborough 1824–1826; on 16 September 1820 he married Lady Mary Lowther (d. 1863), daughter of the 1st Earl of Lonsdale. His brother who could help Southey with his History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832) was Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck (1774–1839; DNB), who served in Spain before commanding British troops in Sicily 1811–1815. Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill (1772–1840; DNB), was one of the most brilliant British commanders in the Peninsular War 1808–1813. BACK

[10] Plans of battles were not included in the History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[11] The battles of Roliça (17 August 1808), Vimeiro (21 August 1808) and Corunna (16–19 January 1809). BACK

[12] Southey had asked Murray to find the second volume of the Spanish original of Histoire de la Guerre d’Espagne contre Napoleon Buonaparte, Par une Commission d’Officiers de Toutes Armes Établie a Madrid, Auprès de S. Ex. Le Ministre de la Guerre; Traduite de l’Espanol, Avec Notes et Éclaircissemens (1818). BACK

[13] Richard Wellesley (1787–1831), son of Marquess Wellesley, and intermittently an MP 1810–1826. He had lent Southey material to help with his History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[14] Demostración de la Lealtad Española: Colección de Proclamas, Bandos, Órdenes, Discursos, Estados de Exercito y Relaciones de Batallas Publicadas por las Juntas de Gobierno o por Algunos Particulares en las Actuales Circunstancias (1808–1809). There were six volumes of this work, published at Cadiz. BACK

[15] i.e. the civil wars of 1642–1651. BACK

[16] Materials relating to the life and times of Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658; Lord Protector 1653–1658; DNB). BACK

[17] Southey’s The Origin, Nature and Object, of the New System of Education (1812), an expansion of his advocacy of Andrew Bell in Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–304. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Lowther estate (mentioned 2 times)
Keswick (mentioned 1 time)
Stowey (mentioned 1 time)


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