3259. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, [6 March 1819]

3259. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, [6 March 1819]⁠* 

The Betty Martinson reviewing me in the Westmorland Gazette is by Mr. Wilson. [1] 


Dear Senhora

The exposure of Brougham is by Gifford, with some assistance which I have no doubt came from Canning, – the wit being in his best style. [2]  The whole paper is well done, – & I believe it has had very great effect, from what I hear, & from Broughams unusual silence in the House.

As a noble specimen of that gentlemans veracity I must tell you that he positively denies ever having mentioned my name in his speeches at Appleby. [3]  He denied it to Lambton. [4] 

Cuthbert (it is a good Saxon name) – is going on well. I think he will have gray eyes. Edith is regaining strength very slowly, & can hardly yet walk across the room.

I am closely employed with the Brazil. [5]  560 pages printed. Now that I am near the end I really look at the labour of this work with astonishment

God bless you


Tom removes on the 31st [6] 


* Address: To/ Miss Barker
MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Robert Galloway Kirkpatrick, ‘The Letters of Robert Southey to Mary Barker From 1800 to 1826’ (unpublished PhD, Harvard, 1967), pp. 454–455.
Dating note: Dating from content, which places this in early March 1819. 6 March fell on a Saturday in that year, and the letter was probably written then. BACK

[1] Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 4 (January 1819), 396–404, ‘Letters from the Lakes. (Translated from the German of Philip Kempferhausen – written in the Summer of 1818.)’, Letter II (400–404) described the author meeting Southey at Greta Hall. The author was actually John Wilson. The letter was reprinted in the Westmorland Gazette, 20 February 1819. ‘All my eye and Betty Martin’ was a popular term for nonsense. BACK

[2] The review of, among other items, A Letter to Sir Samuel Romilly, M.P. from Henry Brougham, Esq. M.P., F.R.S. upon the Abuse of Charities (1818) and the Reports of the House of Commons Select Committee on the Education of the Lower Orders 1816–1818 (chaired by Brougham), which severely criticised the lack of educational provision and highlighted abuses in educational charities, Quarterly Review, 19 (July 1818), 492–569, published 2 February 1819. The reviewer was John Wilson Croker, with a number of helpers, including some input from Canning. BACK

[3] In the general election hustings at Appleby, Westmorland, on 30 June 1818, Brougham was reported to have attacked both Southey and Wordsworth for their part in opposing him, The Times, 4 July 1818. This led to Southey beginning to write a pamphlet in response; part of it was finally published as a ‘Postscript’ to the second edition of Carmen Triumphale (London, 1821), pp. 45–53. BACK

[4] John George Lambton, later 1st Earl of Durham (1792–1840; DNB), Whig landowner and colliery owner in County Durham, and MP for Durham 1812–1828. He had supported Brougham’s unsuccessful election campaign in 1818. BACK

[5] Southey’s History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), III, p. 879, bore the final date ‘Keswick, June 23d, 1819.’ BACK

[6] Tom Southey and his family were moving from Warcop to a farm in the Newlands valley, within striking distance of Keswick. His tenancy began on 25 March 1819. BACK