2283. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 18 July 1813

2283. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 18 July 1813 ⁠* 

Keswick. July 18. 1813

Your envelope enclosing Mr Bs letter & the paper of hints, bears date June 2d. [1]  – I thought to have been with you by this time. But in the interim the illness of Ediths brother has terminated fatally, – & as you may suppose, for some time before the event my house was entirely disordered. Xxx – This evening I have a letter from Murray, who urges me to put off my journey till November, or till the meeting of Parliament, because at this season, Canning, Frere, & M. Wellesley, all of whom it is necessary <expedient> that I should see, will be out of town. – The fitness of seeing these persons is obvious, [2]  & certainly if the Madras business [3]  can be done here I should rather delay my visit. The nature of the reply seems to be clearly chalked out, & my thorough knowledge of the character of the man who is to be answered gives me no little advantage. If you think xx xxx my personal appearance at Streatham xxx is not necessary, send me Marshs [4]  book & the other documents (except the papers laid before Parliament, which I already have) – & I will forthwith take him in hand. Believe me I should be heartily glad to find reason for believing that Sir GB. was as right in every part of his conduct, as he was in the great points of dispute. However Be this as it may I shall know how to take the strong ground, & to read Marsh a lecture upon subordination.

Murray offers me for the history of the Spanish affairs, in two quartos, a thousand guineas. – Whether I shall accept it requires some consideration. It is certain that tho what I have written in the Register [5]  must be recast, yet the materials there, & the knowledge which I have acquired, are of such import that my work is in reality half done. This however is not to be considered in the price. – The book is to be a splendid one, with <plans> views & portraits, & head & tail-pieces to every chapter.

Will you write to Sealey [6]  – or to any body at Lisbon who will take the trouble to procure the books for me xxx which I have specified on the opposite leaf. They are all new publications, – some of them printed at the Rio, but these no doubt are procurable at Lisbon. I have found the notice of them in the London Portugueze Journals. Let them be consigned to Koster for me, & payment for them shall be made wherever at xx any place which may be appointed. Some of them as you will perceive are indispensable for my new work, & I take the opportunity of sending for the rest, – of which the most worthless will turn to account. – Of the Portugueze Journals I have only mentioned one, but I should be glad of as many as can be procured, & if it were possible to obtain a series of the Gazetas, [7]  – I am sure the chaff would amply repay sifting. I should find some of those stray facts & particulars which are the life of history.

I shall soon have compleated my task on the Register. The affairs of Sp. America have made it grow under my hands. [8]  For those of B Ayres I had good private documents, – it is a dismal story, without any thing to relieve it. In Mexico the war state of things very much resembles that of Ireland during the rebellion. The proscriptions confiscations &c which are going on at B Ayres might save Brazil from the same calamities, if nations were ever made wiser by their neighbours example. But whenever the Government returns to Lisbon it is most probable that the plague will break out, & throw the country back for a century.

Murray tells me 1200 copies of the Nelson [9]  have sold, & that he never published any book which has given such compleat satisfaction. What a business his namesake has made at Tarragona! [10]  Lord W. however is so entirely master of the field, that Suchet, [11]  able as he is, will hardly effect his escape.

All well. Remember me to my Aunt – How goes on the Man & his brothers?


Gama. poema por Joze Agostinho de Macedo. [12] 

Memorias Botanicas de Dr Ant: Joze das Neves Mello. [13] 

Memoria Economica sobre a raça do Gado Lanigero na Capitania do Ceara. Pelo Tenente Cor. Joaõ da Silva Feijo [14] 

Indice Systematico da Legislaçaõ Brasiliense. [15] 

Libambo, Metamorphose do Paõ d’Assucar. Poema. [16] 

Uruguay. poema de Joze Basilio. [17] 

Historia Geral da Invasaõ dos Francizes em Portugal, por José Accurcio das Neves. [18] 

Os Sebastianistas xxx P. Joze Agostinho de Macedo: & the tracts in answer to & in defence of it. [19] 

Observaçoẽs sobre a prosperidade do Estado pelos liberaes principios da nova legislaçaõ do Brazil. por Joze da Silva Lisboa. [20] 

Observaçoẽs sobre a franquize da industria, &c no Brazil. por Joze da Silva Lisboa. [21] 

Dissertaçoẽs sobre a historia e jurisprudencia ecclesiastica e civil de Portugal, publicadas por ordem da Academia Real. pelo sen Socio Joam Pedro Ribeiro. [22] 

Demonstraçaõ analytica dos barbaros procedimentos adoptados pelo Imperador dos Francezes para usurpaçaõ de Portugal. [23] 

Segredo Revelado, on grito de verdade contra os Pedreiros Livres, – & the other tracts upon this subject [24] 

Memorias de Literatura Port: Tom 7. & 8. [25] 

Coleccion de Memorias para la Hist: de las naciones Ultramarinas. [26] 

Coleccion de viages a los dominios ultramarinas [27] 

Jornal de Coimbra. [28] 


* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Streatham/ Surry
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: 10 o’Clock/ JY 21/ 1813 FNn; E/ 21 JY 21/ 1813
Seal: Black wax, capital S, Latin motto ‘In Labore Quies’
Watermark: [partial] 1807
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A ‘paper of hints’ (i.e. suggestions) sent by William Barlow (1759–1839), a neighbour of Herbert Hill’s in Streatham. In 1813 Southey was commissioned by the Barlows to write a defence of the conduct of William Barlow’s brother, Sir George Hilaro Barlow (1763–1846; DNB), Governor of Madras 1807–1813. The result was the anonymously published pamphlet An Exposure of the Misrepresentations and Calumnies in Mr Marsh’s Review of Sir George Barlow’s Administration at Madras. By the Relatives of Sir George Barlow (1813). BACK

[2] Southey needed to consult them for his History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832), recently contracted by Murray. BACK

[3] i.e. the defence of Sir George Hilaro Barlow. BACK

[4] The barrister and MP Charles Marsh (c. 1774–1835; DNB), Review of Some Important Passages in the Late Administration of Sir G. H. Barlow, Bart., at Madras (1813). This attacked Barlow’s conduct as Governor of Madras. BACK

[5] Edinburgh Annual Register. BACK

[6] Richard Sealy (c. 1752–1821), Lisbon merchant and father-in-law of Henry Herbert Southey. BACK

[7] Southey’s collection eventually ran to 24 volumes of Spanish Gazetas, 1808–1813, no. 3472 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[8] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1811, 4.1 (1813), 367–421. In Buenos Aires and the surrounding area, the country was torn by conflicts between different regions and those for and against independence from Spain. In Mexico a protracted War of Independence (1810–1821) was in progress, which Southey compares to the Irish uprising of 1798. Brazil was more peaceful and was still controlled by the Portuguese government, which had fled there in 1808. BACK

[9] The Life of Nelson (1813). BACK

[10] In June 1813 Lieutenant General John Murray, 8th Baronet (1768?-1827; DNB), despite having superior numbers, failed to capture the Spanish port of Tarragona. BACK

[11] Louis Gabriel Suchet, Duc d’Albuferra (1770–1826), French Marshal. BACK

[12] José Agostinho de Macedo (1761–1831), Gama, Poema Narrativo (1810); no. 3420 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[13] An unidentified work by Antonio Jose das Neves e Mello (1770-fl. 1830s), director of the Museo Botanico, Coimbra. Probably the Varias Memorias Botanicas advertised in O Investigador Portuguez, 3 (1812). BACK

[14] Joao da Silva Feijo (1760–1824), Memoria Economica sobre a raça de Gado Lanigero da Capitania do Ceara (1811). BACK

[15] Alexandre Jose Curado de Figueiredo e Albuquerque (dates uknown), Indice Systematico da Legislacao Brasiliense (1812). BACK

[16] Paulino Joachin Leitao (1779–1831), Libambo: Metamorfose do Pao d’Assucar (1811). BACK

[17] José Basilio da Gama (1741–1795), O Uruguay: Poema-Epico (1769); no. 3999 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[18] José Accursio das Neves (1766–1834), whose four volume Historia Geral da Invasão dos Francezes em Portugal, e da Restauração deste Reino was published in Lisbon in 1810; no. 3164 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[19] José Agostinho de Macedo (1761–1831), Os Sebastianistas (1810); no. 3420 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[20] José da Silva Lisboa (1756–1835), Observaçoẽs Sobre a Prosperidade do Estado Pelos Liberais Principios da Nova Legislaçaõ do Brazil (1810). BACK

[21] José da Silva Lisboa (1765–1835), Observaçoẽs Sobre a Franqueza da Industria, &c no Brazil (1810). BACK

[22] João Pedro Ribeiro (1758–1839), Dissertaçoẽs Sobre a Historia e Jurisprudencia Ecclesiastica e Civil de Portugal, Publicadas por Ordem da Academia Real (1798–1810); no. 3713 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[23] José Antonio de Sá (fl, 1801–1812), Demonstraçaõ analytica dos barbaros procedimentos adoptados Como Meios Dos Justiça pelo Imperador dos Francezes para usurpaçaõ do Throno Da Serenissima e Augustissima Case de Bragança, e da Real Coroa de Portugal (1810). BACK

[24] José Agostinho de Macedo (1761–1831), Segredo Revelado, ou Manifestação do Systema des Pedreiros Livres, e Illuminados, e sua Influencia na fatal Revoluçao Franceza (1809); no. 3420 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[25] Memorias de Litteratura Portugueza (1792–1796), published by the Academia Real das Sciencias, Lisbon; no. 3532 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[26] Coleção de Noticias para a História e Geografia das Nações Ultramarinas (1812) published by the Academia Real das Sciências. For Southey’s copy, see no. 3273 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[27] Unidentified. BACK

[28] Southey acquired an eight-volume set of the Jornal de Coimbra (1812–1820), no. 3498 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)
Streatham (mentioned 1 time)