3251. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 24 February 1819

3251. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 24 February 1819 ⁠* 

24 Feby. 1819.

It has been almost an even chance that this letter should have borne a black seal, – Edith has had so severe a parturition, owing to the extraordinary size of the child, & the presentation. [1]  However, God be thanked, all’s well that ends well, – & at present both are in a fair way. It is a boy. So I believe my some of my friends wished it might be; – my own wishes – if I had any, would xxx perhaps have be different; – but it is well that in these, & in many other cases, we have not the power of chusing for ourselves.

I shall call <think of calling> him Cuthbert, if his mother does not object to the name.

Love to my Aunt & the whole tribe. [2] 

God bless you


Your letter came in time. I followed the statement of these rascally biographers, – & shall now venture to call it in question. Perhaps the truth is that a pension was allowed them after the dispute with the Pope was accommodated, & not till then. [3]  This seems to reconcile both opinions. Your speech of Pombals has a strong character of xx authenticity.


* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Streatham/ Surry.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial] E/ 7/ 1819; 10 o’Clock/ FE.27/ 1819 F.Nn
Seal: red wax
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, WC 176. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished BACK

[1] Charles Cuthbert Southey was born on 24 February 1819. BACK

[2] The Hills’ children. BACK

[3] Southey’s History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), III, p. 547. Southey stated in the text that no provision was made for the Jesuits expelled from Brazil in 1759, but qualified his opinion in a note. The latter also recorded the complaint of Sebastião José Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal (1699–1782), Prime Minister of Portugal 1750–1777, that the Jesuits were ‘the longest lived body of men he ever knew’. Portugal had broken diplomatic relations with the Papacy in 1760 and these were not restored until the election of the compliant Clement XIV (1705–1774; Pope 1769–1774). BACK

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