3570. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 28 November 1820

3570. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 28 November 1820⁠* 

My dear Wynn

Mrs Hughes has sent me some squibs of her sons writing, some of which are very good in their kind, – & written me a letter therewith, – to which as in duty bound I have returned an answer. She is very indignant about the Queen. [1] 

Bedford tells me I must not be surprizd if farther measures should be taken in this detestable business; & at something of this kind the Courier [2]  seems to hint. On the other hand I hear that Lord Grey [3]  is heartily vexed at having given Ministers an excuse for not sending the Bill to the H Commons where it would certainly have been thrown out on the first reading. For reckoning upon a like proportion of Whigs & Cowards in both houses, you would have the Radical Members to aid them, & the x greater number of Members for large towns, who as they must either have voted with the Mob, or lose their seats at the next election, would have found some specious excuse for obeying the will of the rabble. – Ministers therefore no doubt would gladly let the matter rest, but this will not be in their power. The Queen is in the hands of a gang (rather than a party) who will go any lengths to bring about a revolution, & she is ready enough to go all lengths with them. So much the better if this accelerates the crisis, for the longer that crisis is delayed the more perilous it will be.

I give you joy however of a two months respite. Your evenings will be more agreeably spent in Wales than in Pandemonium. [4] 

God bless you


28 Nov. 1820. Keswick.


* MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4813D. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Mary Ann Hughes had sent Southey some of the anti-radical satires that her son, John Hughes (1790–1857; DNB), had been publishing; for example, The Radical Harmonist (1820), Solomon Logwood (1820) and The Asses Skin Memorandum Book, Lost in St Paul’s (1820); see Southey to Mary Anne Hughes, 28 November 1820, Letter 3569. 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. BACK

[2] The Courier, 22 November 1820, had called on members of the House of Lords to prove by ‘some decisive measure’ that they were not supporters of adultery, even though the Bill of Pains and Penalties had been withdrawn, and the charges of adultery against Queen Caroline brought forward in the debates on the Bill had, therefore, not been proven. BACK

[3] Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845; DNB), leading Whig and later Prime Minister 1830–1834. BACK

[4] Pandemonium was the capital of Hell in John Milton (1608–1674; DNB), Paradise Lost (1667); it was also Southey’s term for the House of Commons. Following the abandonment of the Bill of Pains and Penalties, the Cabinet had suspended parliament; it did not reassemble until 23 January 1821. BACK

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Keswick (mentioned 1 time)