1820. Robert Southey to William Peachy, 22 October 1810

1820. Robert Southey to William Peachy, 22 October 1810 ⁠* 

Keswick. Oct 22. 1810.

My dear Sir

I am happy to inform you that Mr Nicholson [1]  is considerably recovered, & tho there is little probability that he will ever be a sound man again, he may yet enjoy years of life. He moves the left hand (which was the side affected) & can hold any thing in it, but the sense of touch is lost in it. His intellect is unimpaired, & his speech which at one time was affected is recovered. Mrs Wilson conveyed your kind message to him; – the people with whom he lives were afraid it would flurry him to hear it, they were however mistaken, for he expressed great pleasure at hearing you were concerned about him, & it put him in good spirits & he talked a great deal about you.

It was not thought advisable to talk to him immediately about business, so we shall enquire whether Rhodes [2]  has been paid & concerning the other matters; & I think it very likely that Mr Clarke [3]  will undertake the management should it be necessary. But as Mr Nicholson walks about & seems to recover strength, there seems good reason to hope that it may not be needful to take it out of his hands.

I cannot reply to the other part of your letter without many painful thoughts. As you desire I will consult Calvert & keep the thing secret. You will readily suppose that many surmises have been made upon this head, & should you ultimately resolve upon parting with the Island, it may perhaps be I believe you will find a ready purchaser in Lord Darnley. [4]  When he was here two years ago he was so delighted with it that he desired me to give him the earliest intelligence if ever it were to be sold. – Be its new inmates who they may, it is little likely that they can ever compensate to us for the loss of those change. I would willingly have declined dining there with Mr Blackburne [5]  if I could have excused myself.

I should have written last night but was prevented by the arrival of one of my oldest & dearest friends, Mr Rickman, whose house has for many years been my London home. In the course of a week I will write again concerning the business with Calvert, & by that time I hope to give xxxxxx better account of Mr Nicholson. The management of your affairs has always been a source of great pleasure to him, – it is a thing which he is proud of, & I am sure you will wish him to continue it till he feels himself unable to discharge it, which I have now great hopes, will not be the case.

Mrs S. & her sisters [6]  beg to be kindly remembered

believe me my dear Sir

yrs very truly

Robert Southey.

My brother Tom desires to be remembered to you. He & his wife are lodging at the house which Mr Barcroft [7]  formerly inhabited at Castlerig.


* Address: To/ Colonel Peachy/ Cromer/ Norfolk
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Seal: red wax [illegible]
MS: Beinecke Library, GEN MSS 298, Series I, Box 1, folder 25. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Nicholson. Unidentified. He may have been a local man who looked after an aspect of Peachy’s affairs in Keswick. BACK

[2] Rhodes. Unidentified. Someone in Keswick who worked for Peachy. BACK

[3] Clarke. Unidentified. BACK

[4] John Bligh, 4th Earl of Darnley (1767–1831). His principal residence was Cobham Hall, Kent. BACK

[5] Possibly the family of John Ireland Blackburne (1783–1874), MP for Newton 1807–1818, Warrington 1835–1847. BACK

[7] Joseph Barcroft (dates unknown). BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)