1558. Robert Southey to John Murray, 20 December 1808

1558. Robert Southey to John Murray, 20 December 1808 ⁠* 

Keswick. Dec. 20. 1808.


An unavoidable accident made my parcel ten minutes too late for this days coach, – which would have conveyed it to you on Friday; – & in consequence you cannot now receive it before Monday.

I have found it impossible to include more than the Indian mission & controversy in one article. [1]  You will find a decided opinion in its favour, but by no means an unqualified approbation of the Missionaries, tho there is a fair testimony borne to their merits. The political objections are fairly met & to the best of my judgement fairly refuted, – nor has that judgement been either lightly or lately taken up. Having thoroughly studied, & actually half written the history of the Portgueze in Asia my opinion is the result of a wider knowledge of the Hindoos than has fallen to the share of the Anti-Missioners.

The remaining missions will furnish two articles of some twelve or fourteen pages each, & of a very different character from this argumentative one – One will relate to the South Sea Islands, the other to South Africa. [2]  In these I propose to give the history of what has been done, speculate upon what should be done, & collect & arrange the information which is scattered thro the journals. And in one of these I shall compare the Protestant with the Catholic Missionaries.

I am Sir

Yrs respectfully

Robert Southey.


* Address: To Mr Murray/ Bookseller/ Fleet Street/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ DEC23/ 1808
Watermark: J BUDGEN/ 1805
Endorsement: 1808 Decr. 20 – Keswick/ Southey. Robt/ Q.Rev./ Having compleated/ his article on Asiatic Missions – plan of ye other two
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey reviewed Periodical Accounts of the Baptist Missionary Society, Quarterly Review, 1 (February 1809), 193–226. BACK

[2] Southey reviewed Transactions of the Missionary Society in the South Sea Islands in Quarterly Review, 2 (August 1809), 24–61. Missionary work in South Africa was discussed in the Quarterly by John Barrow (1764–1848; DNB), for example in volume 22 (July 1819), 203–246. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)