Danvers, Charles (c. 1764–1814)

Bristol wine merchant, trading under the name Danvers and White. He was distantly related to the regicides Sir John Danvers (1584/5–1655; DNB) and General Thomas Harrison (c. 1616–60; DNB) and to the diarist Celia Fiennes (1662–1741; DNB). (Southey possessed a manuscript of Fiennes diary which he had been given by the Danvers family and included unacknowledged excerpts from it in his and Coleridge’s Omniana (1812).) Danvers’ father had ‘been a person of some property’, though the family’s fortunes had since declined. Danvers seems to have had two brothers and two sisters. He never married. A Dissenter, he died in London ‘during a short tarriance there’ and was buried in Asplands Burial Ground, Hackney. Danvers knew Southey from childhood. In 1797, their friendship flourished when Southey and his wife lodged in a house in Kingsdown, next door to Danvers and his mother. In 1799, Southey finished the fifteen book version of Madoc in Mrs Danvers’ ‘parlour on her little table’. When Southey went to Portugal in 1800–1, he left a copy of his poetic magnum opus with Danvers and also delegated the task of collecting materials for the third Annual Anthology to him and Davy. This volume did not appear. Danvers visited Southey at Keswick in summer 1805 and kept a journal of his tour, now in the British Library, Add MS 30929. Extracts from this were published in Kenneth Curry, ‘A note on Wordsworth’s “Fidelity”’, Philological Quarterly, 32 (1953), 212–214.

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