2637. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [20 July 1815]

2637. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [20 July 1815]⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

You have given Edith a great triumph in interdicting the drab: [1]  – but I wish you & the Professor of Warwick Street [2]  had decided for me whether without sending the patterns, – here however is my choice – your story of the Mag Rot & the Jordan & the Peacocks Feathers is all mystery. [3] 

If I were a relation of Capt Wright I would certainly indict Buonaparte for murder, & let the point be argued whether or not we have any authority to take cognizance of the crime. [4]  And if I were th at the head of the Admiralty I would do so. – What the Devil shall we do with him?? – He has puzzled the British Cabinet very often, but never so compleatly as now. [5] 

I ha am sending Gifford a reviewal after his own heart; – a Frenchman sliced, peppered & bedevilled as he deserves. [6] 

In haste

God bless you


When you send the pattern to Hyde tell him to send the coat by the coach from the Bull & Mouth

Where is your Journal? [7] 


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsement: 2e 20th. July 1815.
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey had asked Bedford to order him a new coat from his London tailor, Hyde (first name unknown; d. 1820). Southey’s preference was for drab, but Edith had forbidden this; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 24 June 1815, Letter 2621. BACK

[2] i.e. Hyde, whose premises were at 1 Warwick St, Golden Square, London. BACK

[3] An anecdote about Henry Bedford. As a ‘jordan’ was a chamber-pot, the story was probably an amusing one. BACK

[4] The British naval officer John Wesley Wright (1769–1805; DNB), captured on the French coast in 1804 and suspected of landing opponents of the Bonapartist regime, he was found with his throat cut in prison the following year, a reported suicide. Bonaparte was widely suspected to have ordered his murder, a story Southey made use of in the ninth stanza of his ‘Ode Written During the Negotiations with Bonaparte’ (1814). BACK

[5] Napoleon Bonaparte had formally demanded political asylum from the British on 15 July 1815. He was imprisoned and then sent to exile on St Helena, where he died in 1821. BACK

[6] Presumably, Eustache-Auguste Carel (1788–1836), Précis Historique de la Guerre d’Espagne et de Portugal, de 1808 à 1814 (1815). Reviewed by Southey alongside other books relating to Wellington and the Waterloo campaign in the Quarterly Review, 13 (July 1815), 448–526. For Southey’s dislike of Carel’s account; see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 2 July 1815, Letter 2631. BACK

[7] Bedford’s journal of his visit to Europe in 1814–1815. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Bull and Mouth (mentioned 1 time)