3468. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 16 April [1820]

3468. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 16 April [1820]⁠* 

Keswick 16 Apr.

My dear R.

Tomorrow I begin my journey, & toward the latter end of next week I hope to see you & Mrs R. & my fellow travellers Willy & Franco. [1]  Heaven be thanked that I am not to perform in the journey in Mitchels gig. [2] 

Juries & yeomanry are doing well. [3]  But we shall want some such wholesale transportation as was practised with the Irish after the last rebellion. [4] 

God bless you


I have made good use of your extract concerning The Thing in Hones doggrel, of which by the by Hobhouse is said to be the Author. [5] 


* Endorsement: Fr RS./ 16 Apr. 1820
MS: Huntington Library, RS 395. ALS; 1p.
Dating note: Year from endorsement. BACK

[1] William Charles Rickman (1812–1886) and Frances Rickman (dates unknown), Rickman’s younger children, who had accompanied Southey and Rickman on their tour of Scotland 17 August–1 October 1819. BACK

[2] John Mitchell (1779–1824), Principal Inspector of Roads and Bridges in the Highlands 1810–1824. BACK

[3] Assemblies of radicals with revolutionary intentions had marched on Huddersfield, 31 March–1 April 1820, and Grange Moor, 11–12 April 1820; and there had been an attempted insurrection in Glasgow and the west of Scotland on 3–5 April 1820. All had been dispersed. BACK

[4] Following the Irish rebellion of 1798, about 300–800 Irish rebels were transported to Australia. Following the radical risings in 1820, nineteen men from the West of Scotland and eleven from Yorkshire were transported. BACK

[5] In Hone’s The Political House that Jack Built (1819), ‘THE THING, that, in spite of new Acts,/ And attempts to restrain it, by Soldiers or Tax,/ Will poison the Vermin, that plunder the Wealth/ That lay in the House,/ That Jack Built’ was a free press. John Cam Hobhouse (1786–1869; DNB), MP for Westminster 1820–1833, Nottingham 1834–1847, Harwich 1848–1851, was not the author. Southey quoted a version of these lines in his review of Benjamin Haydon, New Churches, Considered with Respect to the Opportunities they Offer for the Encouragement of Painting (1818) in Quarterly Review, 23 (July 1820), 549–591 (578); and while he exulted that ‘the conservative powers of society have been found stronger than the united efforts of sedition, privy conspiracy and rebellion’, he urged the need for ‘sound religious instruction’ to prevent future unrest. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)