803. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [24 June 1803]

803. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [24 June 1803] ⁠* 

Dear Wynn

I have written to Rickman to say I shall set out on Sunday if it be convenient to him to receive me at that time. his answer has not yet arrived but – if you do not hear from me by Mondays post — you may expect to see me on Monday morning. The coach will be in about nine or ten I suppose, & as soon as I have cleansed & breakfasted I shall proceed to Lincolns Inn.

The difference between a tax on paper [1]  & one immediately upon new books is very great. what I propose is a stamp. & can fall only upon the buyer – the paper duty fell at first in the gross sum upon the bookseller, & was an actual loss to him for all the copies that remained unsold – besides requiring such an advance of first expence it often deterrd him from publishing. a stamp has none of these objections.

The new militia [2]  is indeed stark folly. there seems to be a fatality attending all oppositions in this country. they seem destined to be always in the right & never to be attended to. God help us! bad weather – the ship heavily laden & such a pilot! [3] 




* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr. M.P./ Lincolns Inn/ London
Postmarks: FREE/ JUN 24/ 1803; [partial] JUN 24 1803
Endorsements: June 25/ 1803; Mr Wynn
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4811D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] An excise duty on paper was introduced in 1712 and not repealed until 1861. BACK

[2] The Army of Reserve Acts (1803) provided for a new Army of Reserve to defend Britain from invasion. If any parish could not provide enough volunteers there was a ballot of all the adult male parishioners. The government also called for a new volunteer force to harass any invading French army. BACK

[3] Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth (1757-1844; DNB), Prime Minister 1801-1804, Home Secretary 1812-1822. BACK

People mentioned

Rickman, John (1771–1840) (mentioned 1 time)