3557. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 15 November 1820

3557. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 15 November 1820⁠* 

My dear Wynn

Having just finished the 5th book of ON. [1]  I inclose you another portion, & take this opportunity of saying two things which I forgot in my last.

First that I shall be very much gratified by a sight of the Majorcan MSS. [2]  If it contain any thing curious it may induce me to review Llorentes History of the Inquisition, [3]  which is just a book to be condensed in that form.

Secondly Robert Clive [4]  has repeated the offer of his papers thro my friend Mr Browne of Ludlow. Will you say to him, when you have an opportunity, that I shall be greatly obliged to him for any assistance of this kind.

The bells are ringing & Keswick is illuminated in honour of the Immaculata. [5]  There seems however no disposition as yet to break the windows of the few persons who keep me in countenance.

God bless you


15 Nov. 1820.


* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqre M.P./ Llangedwin/ near/ Oswestry
Stamped: [partial] KESWICK
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4813D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The fifth book, ‘The Portrait’, of Southey’s unfinished epic, set in New England. The completed sections were published after Southey’s death in Oliver Newman: A New-England Tale (Unfinished): With Other Poetical Remains (London, 1845), pp. 1–90. BACK

[2] William Shipley (1778–1820), MP for St Mawes 1807, 1812–1813 and Flint Boroughs 1807–1812, husband of Wynn’s sister, Charlotte Williams Wynn (1773–1819), had fled his debtors for Majorca, and had offered to provide Southey with a manuscript history of the Inquisition in Majorca. BACK

[3] Juan Antonio Llorente (1756–1823), Histoire Critique de l’Inquisition d’Espagne (1817–1818). Murray had sought Southey’s advice on whether an English translation was advisable, but did not take up the option; no English version appeared until 1826. The French translation was no. 1738 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. He did not review this for the Quarterly Review. BACK

[4] Sir Watkin Williams Wynn had married Lady Henrietta Antonia Clive (1786–1835), daughter of Edward Clive, 1st Earl of Powis (1754–1839; DNB), on 4 February 1817. This marriage united the two Welsh political dynasties of the Clives and the Wynns. One of the Earl’s sons was Hon. Robert Henry Clive (1789–1854), MP for Ludlow 1818–1832, MP for Shropshire South 1832–1854. Clive had spent much time travelling in Spain during the Peninsular War and offered help to Southey with his History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[5] Under extreme pressure from George IV, the Cabinet had reluctantly agreed to introduce a Bill of Pains and Penalties into the House of Lords to deprive the King’s wife, Caroline of Brunswick (1768–1821; DNB), of the title of Queen, and to dissolve her marriage to the King. On the Third Reading of the Bill on 10 November 1820, the government majority was only nine votes and it seemed very unlikely the Bill could pass the House of Commons. Lord Liverpool, the Prime Minister, therefore had announced the Bill would be withdrawn. Southey compares Caroline ironically to the ‘Immaculate’ Virgin Mary. BACK

People mentioned

Browne, Wade (1760–1821) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)