1672. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 27 August [1809]

1672. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 27 August [1809] ⁠* 

My dear Rickman

I have for such goodly guerdon as it did not by any means behove me to reject, undertaken to furnish the Edinburgh Annual Register with the History of Europe for the year 1808, – that is the home-history & that of the war. [1]  The former must be dull God knows, but I must make the best of it, that is to say the shortest, consistent with perspicuity, & requisite proportion. Can you send me any Parl. Proc. [2]  which will be of any use? If there be any list of the Proceedings of the year printed by way Index or Table of Contents, you can in a moment tell by casting your eye over it. The Court of Inquiry [3]  you know I have. I have very late notice for this business & am sadly ill-prepared, – this demurrer however was over-ruled by Ballantyne, – who has tried somebody else first, & paid for his experiment. [4] 

About Spain I shall write with good will & a safe conscience, knowing my strength. The rest will be heavy work.

Your next I hope will tell me of your coming.



Aug. 27.


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: From/ RS./ 27Augt. 1810
MS: Huntington Library, RS 150. ALS; 3p.
Dating note: Dating from content; endorsement misdates ‘1810’. BACK

[1] Southey contributed the ‘History of Europe’ section to the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1808–1810. BACK

[2] As secretary to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rickman had easy access to the published Proceedings of Parliament. BACK

[3] The inquiry into the circumstances surrounding, and the conduct of those involved in agreeing, the Convention of Cintra (1808), under the terms of which the defeated French were allowed to evacuate their forces from Portugal. See Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808, 1.1 (1810), 379–381. BACK

[4] Either the poet and translator William Steward Rose (1775–1843; DNB) or his brother the diplomatist George Henry Rose (1770–1855; DNB). Their father was the Pittite loyalist MP George Rose (1744–1818; DNB). BACK

People mentioned

Ballantyne, James (1772–1833) (mentioned 1 time)