3469. Robert Southey to John Wilson, 21 April 1820

3469. Robert Southey to John Wilson, 21 April 1820⁠* 

Llangedwin, April 21, 1820.

My Dear Sir,

I have just received your letter, which followed me to this place, the residence of my friend C. Williams Wynn. It would give me sincere pleasure if any testimony of mine should be serviceable to you in the object at which you are aiming; & if great powers, great activity of mind, great industry, and great readiness, are considered, as they ought to be, the requisites for Professorship, I know not to whom the Magistrates & Town Council could award it with more propriety than to you. [1]  Were I of their number, my vote would be so given, upon the principle of detur digniori, [2]  even if the consideration of congenial opinions, similar pursuits, & personal good will, were to be laid aside.

Believe me, my dear Sir,

With sincere wishes for your success,

And much respect,

Yours faithfully,

Robert Southey.


* MS: Edinburgh University Library, Lectures and Papers of John Wilson (‘Christopher North’), Album of Manuscript Testimonials Solicited in His Candidacy for the Chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh. ALS; 1p.
Previously published: Alan Lang Strout, ‘John Wilson and the Chair of Modern Philosophy at Edinburgh’, Notes & Queries, 176 (April 1939), 221. BACK

[1] Southey was agreeing to write in support of Wilson’s bid to be appointed to the Chair of Moral Philosophy and Political Economy at the University of Edinburgh. The post was filled by consent of the local council and became a struggle between local Tories, whose candidate Wilson was, and Whigs, who supported Sir William Hamilton (1788–1856; DNB). Wilson was the victor. BACK

[2] ‘Let it be given to the more worthy’. BACK

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