945. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, 29 May [1804]

945. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, 29 May [1804] ⁠* 

Miss Mary – or dear Miss Mary to write in the old way – if you will for a moment recollect how I am worn down to the very bone by business you will excuse me for not writing till now, & for now writing so hastily. I have taken my place in the Brummejams [1]  coach for Friday afternoon next. which (God willing) will carry me to that sweet town on Saturday afternoon. I shall endeavour to make my way to Penkridge by way of Walsall [2]  that night, if not as early as possible on Sunday morning – & of course you know that the sooner we get into the coach together the better. I know nothing of the stages about Penkridge but a long coach passes thro Stone, [3]  where we may be sure of places.

God bless you –

yrs in filth, fatigue & ill humour

R Southey.

Tuesday May 29 – being the most rascally day in the Kalendar. [4] 


* Address: To/ Miss Barker/ Congreve/ Penkridge/ Staffordshire
Postmark: [partial] A. MA. 30 804
MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Robert Galloway Kirkpatrick, ‘The Letters of Robert Southey to Mary Barker From 1800 to 1826’ (unpublished PhD, Harvard, 1967), p. 117.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Slang, based on the locals’ unique accent, for the city of Birmingham. BACK

[2] A town near Penkridge and Birmingham, in Staffordshire. BACK

[3] A town six miles north of Stafford. BACK

[4] A reference to the anniversary of the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660. Southey’s republican poem on this subject, ‘May 29 – Ode’, appeared anonymously in the Morning Post, 29 May 1798. BACK

Places mentioned

Teddesley (mentioned 3 times)