1547. Robert Southey to John Murray, 2 December 1808
1547. Robert Southey to John Murray, 2 December 1808 *
Upon inspecting a little more carefully the books with which you have provided me, I find such information as obliges me to trouble you once more.
It is th the ‘Society for Missions to Africa & the East’  with which Wilberforce the Thorntons  & their party are particularly connected. Of this Society I have never before heard, – so ill have they advertised themselves. There is a volume of their proceedings published by Seeley in Ave Maria Lane,  which I shall be obliged to you to procure, & also a Grammar & Vocabulary of the Susoo language by Mr Brunton the Missionary,  – which may probably be had or heard of at the same place, tho I know not to what Society he belongs; – either to this I believe or to the old sleeping one for the Propagation of the Gospel.  With these I should be glad of David Brainerds Journal. 
I am sorry to trouble you a second time upon the same business, but I replied in haste to your letter,  a few hours only after the parcel arrived, & seeing the word Sermon upon one of the bundles, left it to be opened the last of the assortment. The subject is of great importance, & it will be a great satisfaction to me if I should be able to bring into one view what these various Societies have done towards the accomplishment of their specific object, & what they have added to the stock of general knowledge. Our Propagandists will bear comparison with the Jesuits in their best days, – & instead of deriding them for that zeal & that enthusiasm without which nothing great & good has ever yet been accomplished it behoves us to hold them up to the gratitude & admiration of the Christian world, & to plead for the end at which they aim, while we speculate with full & entire freedom upon the means which they employ.
Keswick. Dec. 2. 1808.
* Address: To Mr Murray/ Bookseller/ Fleet Street/ London/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ DEC5/ 1808
Watermark: 1807/ JW & BB
Endorsement: 1808 Dec 2 – Keswick/ Southey. Robt./ L.Q.R./ 2nd Letr. requiring more Bks of mis/sionaries – his idea of ye/ mission
MS: National Library of Scotland, 42550. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 493–494. BACK
 Henry Thornton (1760–1815; DNB) and his wife Marianne, née Sykes (1765–1815; DNB), members of the evangelical Clapham sect and founders of the Church Missionary Society. BACK
 The Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society became a long-running series, published by L. B. Seeley (1766–1834). BACK
 Henry Brunton (c. 1770–1813), worked as a missionary in Sierra Leone from 1797–1801. He published, on his return, a grammar of the Susu language, spoken along on the coast of West Africa: A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Susoo Language, to which are added, the names of some of the Susoo towns ... a small catalogue of Arabic books, and a list of names of some of the learned men of the Mandinga and Foulah countries (1802). BACK
 Brunton belonged to the Edinburgh Missionary Society, rather than the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (founded 1701). BACK
 David Brainerd (1718–1747). The Journal of his mission among the American Indians was published in 1746. BACK