1839. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 14 December 1810

1839. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 14 December 1810 ⁠* 

Keswick Dec 14. 1810

My dear Grosvenor

Since Wednesday last I had been looking with a good deal of anxiety for news of you. This is no very p pleasing letter that has arrived, – it is however a good thing that you are at your journeys end, & I think the Doctors will not insist upon your late mode of living when they see its affects.

Douglas [1]  has been here & regretted very much not having seen you. He is just married & brought his bride a run from Kelso to Keswick, where I dined with them one day, & they with me another. It is many years since we had met, & I was very much pleased with his frank & xxx winning manners, as indeed we all were.

Tom & his wife departed this morning for Durham, having spent the last fortnight with us. She wins upon one very much, – & I was sorry to part with her. Tom I miss very much. I am now left wholly to myself – & must begin my usual hybernation.

I reckoned upon assets in your hands, & have told Rickman that you will pay him for my stock of shoes, & Wynn that you will settle t with him for some books from a Catalogue, of which he sent me two sheets, & received in return a commission for some of the articles. [2]  I wish they he may not delay it till they slip thro his fingers, but there was no clue to the booksellers name & I had no other means of sending for them. As you have sent the half bills, these things with the accommodation for the humdurgeon &c must stand over for the next Exchequer account.

Keswick is in a great ferment in consequence of the failure of one of the Workington Banks. [3]  You know there is nothing but Workington paper circulating here – Luckily all that we had was of the other Bank. [4] 

The great coat made his appearance before the letter from Manchester & I would have given a good deal to have been extracted some account of his travels from him. – Farewell. The Moon is set – the wind is playing a dismal xxx duet with the rain, & I who have the happiest spirits in the world, have not am a little below par in them at present. The sight of a chaise driving from the door, is a sedative for the day. – Remember me to your father & mother & the Master of the Rolls & tell me better news of yourself

Yours ever affectionately


We have never received a line from Coleridge since he went away. [5] 


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 17 DE 17/ 1810
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Dr James Douglas (1775–1846) of Kelso, an old friend of Southey’s from Balliol College, Oxford. He had married Frances, daughter of James Robson of Samieston, in Edinburgh, on 10 December 1810. BACK

[2] See Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 4 December 1810, Letter 1834. BACK

[3] Falcon, Hodgson & Co.’s bank failed in 1810, causing major local inconvenience. BACK

[4] Southey was not so fortunate in 1812 when the ‘other’ Workington Bank failed. It is estimated that its customers lost £105,000 in total; see Southey to John Rickman, 28 July 1812, Letter 2127. BACK

[5] Coleridge had left for London on 18 October 1810. Shortly after his arrival there on 26 October, a breach with Wordsworth occurred, which lasted until 1812. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 3 times)