3483. Robert Southey to Bertha Southey, 15 May 1820

3483. Robert Southey to Bertha Southey, 15 May 1820⁠* 

Monday. 15 May. 1820

Q. Anne Street

My dear Bertha

You have written me a very nice letter; but I have only time to write a very short note in reply, for I have a great many people & a great many things to see, & a great deal to do besides, so that if I had half a dozen heads, & legs & arms in proportion, there would be work enough for them all.

Your Aunt Louisa & the children are going tomorrow to Tunbridge Wells with Mrs Gonne, who I am sorry to say is not in good health. Please to observe that I do not say anything teazing. Indeed I wonder how you can think that I ever teaze anybody. Teazing however is a word which puts me in mind of Cathedrals, [1]  & that reminds me of Mr Shore [2]  who called on me on Saturday, & of Mr Law, [3]  who paid me a visit yesterday, with his father. They are not coming to the Lakes this year.

Dr Bell is in town. I went with him the other morning to call on the Bishop of Durham. [4] 

Cuthbert must be told that Pappa sends him this book from London: & Edith must give him a kiss for me, & he must send me a kiss in return. Give my love to Kate & Bell. They must write me a letter: & if Edith does not write to me very shortly, she & I shall be two.

I am to dine at Sir G Beaumonts today.

God bless you.

your affectionate father

Now that fine weather is come I shall expect Edith to attend to her drawing, & make out-of-door sketches. And you Bertha must draw also.

The seeds of the vegetable marrow are in the book. [5] 


* Address: Miss Bertha Southey.
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, WC 196. AL; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] ‘Cathedrals’ was the name given in Keswick and its environs to young men from the University of Cambridge who visited the Lakes in study parties. It arose, initially, from a ‘comical confusion’ between ‘Collegian’ and ‘College’, and, later, between ‘College’ and ‘Cathedral’; see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 19–20 August 1821, Letter 3715. BACK

[2] It is not possible to be certain about the identity of ‘Mr Shore’; he was possibly John Shore (1796–1885), M.A. Trinity College, Cambridge 1816, MP for Marylebone 1838–1841 and 2nd Lord Teignmouth. However, it is also possible that Southey had misspelled his visitor’s name and that he was one of three members of Caius College, Cambridge: George Shaw (c. 1800–1887), M. B. 1824, later Senior Physician at Leicester Infirmary; Halsnod Shaw (c. 1800–1824); or Edward Butterworth Shaw (c. 1797–1880), B.A. 1819, later Rector of Narborough 1835–1880. BACK

[3] One of the sons of George Henry Law, Bishop of Chester: either Henry Law (1797–1884), B.A. St John’s College, Cambridge 1820, later a clergyman and Dean of Gloucester 1862–1884; or Robert Vanbrugh Law (1799–1884), B.A. Peterhouse, Cambridge 1822, later a clergyman and Rector of Christian Malford, Wiltshire 1835–1877. BACK

[4] Shute Barrington (1734–1826; DNB), Bishop of Durham 1791–1826. BACK

[5] Wade Browne had given Southey some marrow seeds when the latter stayed with the Brownes in Ludlow on the way to London. BACK

Places mentioned