974. Robert Southey and Joseph Cottle to the editor of Gentleman’s Magazine, 6 August 1804

974. Robert Southey and Joseph Cottle to the editor of Gentleman’s Magazine, 6 August 1804 ⁠* 

August 6.

Mr. Urban, [1] 

WE beg to communicate to the publick, through the medium of your Miscellany, the result of the late subscription edition of Chatterton’s Works, for the benefit of his sister, Mrs. Newton. [2] 

After using every endeavour for two years, it was found that the number of Subscribers were not sufficient to defray the expenses of the proposed edition; when the Editors entered into an engagement with Messrs. Longman and Rees, who, on having the work secured to them, undertook to print it at their own expence, and to allow Mrs. Newton 850 copies gratis, for her own Subscribers, with a reversionary interest of 50 copies on the sale of every succeeding edition.

The following is a statement of the accounts.

35 Monies received, for copies sold to subscribers, at 1l. 11s. 6d. each 55 2 6
159 Copies sold to subscribers, through the hands of booksellers at 1l. 8s. ea. 226 17 6
16 Copies presented to contributors
97 Copies for sale in the hands of Messrs. Longman and Rees
26 Copies for sale in the hands of Mr. Debrett [3] 
17 Copies delivered to subscribers, and not yet paid for
——— ——— ——— ———
350 £ 282 0 0
——— ——— ——— ———

Cash paid Mrs. Newton as per receipt given ................................................... 30 0 0
Cash paid Mrs. Newton as per receipt given ................................................... 154 15 0
Cash paid Mrs. Newton’s executors, for the benefit of Miss Newton........... 96 1 0
Cash allowed a bookseller, extra, on subscribing for 12 copies ................... 1 4 0
Incidental expences, from the purchase of books, postage, carriage, &c. — Mr. Southey
The same — Mr. Cottle
——— ——— ———
£ 282 0 0
——— ——— ———

When the 128 copies, now in the hands of Booksellers, are sold, and the 17 Subscribers have paid for their copies, it will produce about 200l. in addition to the above.

It will afford the Subscribers much pleasure to learn that Mrs. Newton lived to receive 184l. 15s. from the profits of her brother’s works, which supported her in the decline of her life, when (as she expressed it) she would otherwise have wanted bread.

Mrs. Newton having appointed, by will, two highly respectable Gentlemen as her Executors, and as the undertaking is now brought so nearly to a conclusion, the Editors have thought it proper to transfer the business to those Gentlemen, who have kindly undertaken to superintend this, and some other affairs, for the benefit of Miss Newton, the niece, and only surviving relative of Chatterton.

Robert Southey,

Joseph Cottle.


* MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Gentleman’s Magazine, 74 (August 1804)
Previously published: Gentleman’s Magazine, 74 (August 1804), 722–723. BACK

[1] Sylvanus Urban, the persona of the editor of the Gentleman’s Magazine. BACK

[2] Mary Newton (1749–1804), sister of Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770), was the principal beneficiary of the sales of The Works of Thomas Chatterton, 3 vols (London: Longman and Rees, 1803) that Southey and Cottle edited to relieve Chatterton’s family from financial distress. In 1803 Southey had reckoned that the publication would clear over £400 for her. BACK

[3] John Debrett (1753–1822): London bookseller and editor, in 1802, of The Correct Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland. BACK

People mentioned

Rees, Owen (1770–1837) (mentioned 2 times)