2838. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 September [1816]

2838. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 September [1816]⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

The letter which accompanies this you & Herries may do what you please with. [1]  And if you still think it ne adviseable that I should hasten to London, I will obey your summons (however reluctantly) as soon as possible. I cannot think it necessary; & it would be hugely inconvenient with such tremendous arrears of business as are now upon my hands.

I have just been informed of the existence of a Club at in Keswick here, – of what description think you? – nothing less than a Club of Atheists who meet <met used to meet> twice a week at an alehouse to enjoy the pleasures of free opinion in congenial society! The mistress of the alehouse was ‘of the same way of thinking”,– – but one of the members having married the daughter of another alewife the society has split, – perhaps there may be two clubs instead of one. A Clerk of Mr Fryers [2]  is president, – & some of the Crossthwates [3]  (the tanners) are members.

This is in great measure the fault of our Reverend Porpoise; [4]  – who if he cannot (for lack of natural gifts) do any other good as a Priest than what might be performed by a marrying & christening machine, ought at least to do his duty as a magistrate, & interfere with the public houses


10 Sept.


* Endorsements: 10 Septr. 1816; 10 Septr. 1816./ with enclosure
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Year from endorsement.
Note on MS: the letter contained an enclosure, a second letter to Bedford of 10 September 1816, see Letter 2839. BACK

[1] Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 September 1816, Letter 2839. BACK

[2] John Harrison Fryer (1777–1855), surveyor, geologist and mining engineer from Newcastle, who spent part of each year in Keswick from 1808. BACK

[3] The numerous Crosthwaite clan in Keswick included J. Crosthwaite (dates unknown), a tanner. BACK

[4] Isaac Denton (c. 1758–1820), Vicar of Crosthwaite, Keswick, 1786–1820; he was also a magistrate and thus was responsible for licensing alehouses. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)