1249. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 27 December [1806]

1249. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 27 December [1806] ⁠* 

My dear Rickman

My papers relate to the wrong side of S America at present – says Ld.G. but urges me to expedite the publication, – for which I need no urging. [1]  Will you at your leisure send me off all the MSS. bundles in the cupboards downstairs (16 in all) – & with them a dirty large folio Cronica dos Jesuitas do Brazil [2]  – the lettering I think on the same leather as the back – a parchment folio in huge black lettering Amazones y Maranhon [3]  – or to that purport – a parchment duodecimo with lettering in Roman letter, being the hist. – in Latin by Barloeus of P Maurices campaign in that country [4] xx the four heavy Memorias for the hist. of Sebastian [5]  standing in the bookcase by the window & the Guerra del Brazil [6]  – another folio – bound I believe. Every one of these books will stare you in the face. – from the Bull & Mouth [7]  the waggon goes.

I have begged Duppa to ask his Quaker friend at Stockwell who has Dutch connections to procure for me all Dutch works connected with the subject. [8]  The grammar of de hollandsche spraak is my pocket companion when I walk for health sake – & I have got some insight into it.

There is no use in making apologies for giving you trouble &c – but do not suppose that I am without some due sense that it is troubling you – the best thanks will be in the shape of the first part of my great opus which by Gods blessing shall be in the press before Autumn.

My remembrance to Mrs Rickman – & to your Aunt –

God bless you


Dec 27 –

A merry Xmas & a happy new year.


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ 27 Decr. 1807
MS: Huntington Library, RS 96. ALS; 3p.
Dating note: The endorsement is incorrect, as the year is 1806, when Southey first began his History of Brazil (1810–1819) and when he enquired of Grenville if the government would support the work. BACK

[1] Southey had asked Wynn to use his position as Under Secretary of State in the Home Office to ascertain whether the government might provide him with support in writing a history of Brazil; a work likely to provide it with useful information in the light of the prospective flight of the Portuguese Court to that country (which occurred 29 November 1807); see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [15 December 1806], Letter 1243. BACK

[2] Probably Simao de Vasconcelos (1597–1671), Cronica da Companhia de Jesus (1663). BACK

[3] Probably Cristóbal Diatristán de Acuña (1597-c.1676), Relation de la Riviere des Amazones (1682). BACK

[4] Caspar Barlaeus (1584–1648), Rerum per octennium in Brasilia et alibi nuper gestarum sub praefectura (1647), an account of the Dutch colonies in Brazil governed by John Maurice of Nassau (Johan Maurits, 1604–1679). BACK

[5] D. Barbosa Machada (dates uknown), Memorias para a Historia de Portugal, que comprehendem o Governo del Rey D. Sebastiao I do anno de 1554 atè 1575 (1736–1751). BACK

[6] Duarte de Alburquerque Coello (dates unknown), Memorias Diarias de la Guerra del Brasil desde el de año 1630 (1654). BACK

[7] The London coaching inn from which wagons and coaches left for the north. BACK

[8] See Southey to [Richard Duppa], fragment [December 1806], Letter 1248. BACK