Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
153. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Ann Bloomfield, 1 January 1805*
Honington Jany 1. 1805
My Dear Mary
I write on the first day of the year to inform you that my Mother was buried last night.
We have had a sad time of it, and great expence. She was ill just a fortnight, and died on the 27th of December between 5 and 6 in the evening. She was never left nor neglected by night or by day; the Doctor attended dayly, but her attack was too violent to admit of remedy. I was present at her death, a most afflicting scene!
George and Kitty, my Father and Bet, myself, Isaac and his children, Mr Austin, Mrs Mothersole, the Old Lady Luince, and a great number of neighbours, attended the Funeral. She is buried alongside of my Father.
The Rev Mr Fellows of Fakenham call'd often during her illness and on Saturday last spoke to me as to the tomb or monument which he wishes to have erected on the grave, and says that with our permission he will get it done as a token of respect, by subscription amongst the neighbouring Gentry, that the expence may not fall on me.  This plan of his render'd it necessary to have the grave arch'd and brick'd to the top, which with much exertion we accomplished just in time to recieve the Coffin. This have increas'd the expence, but I know that you will not begrudge what I have done when I come to show you why and how I have spent my money. It is a very great satisfaction to me that I was here. I have had £20 transmitted to me from Mr Hood. I am now going to see Mr Lofft for the [MS torn].
[MS torn] to Mr Williams—
And [MS torn] would be afraid to trust your [MS torn] [Han]nah by her [MS torn] inside the Coach to Bury, [MS torn] she like [MS torn] poor Bet is sadly distress[ed] [MS torn] of her g[rand]mother, and I think Hannah [MS torn] her compan[y] [MS torn] week or two, she is [MS torn] to come [MS torn]. 'But Hannah went before!' tell her she [MS torn] with me to Woolwich when I come home and the weather is fine. If Hannah comes Nat will see her to the Coach and give her instructions as to breakfast and dinner and her bundle. She might bring colours and drawing utensils, and will have to go to Troston. George will meet the coach at Bury.—Now mind dear Mary, I don't urge this matter upon you, for I know it a serious one if you feel the least reluctance as the cold [MS torn] ride or her means of geting home again don't let her come, for, I want to be home next week; and shall very likely leave her behind. Weigh the job well and if it appears wrong, say so by writing to George directly; or if she comes be sure write to Bury the day before. I want 4 of the portraits. I wish Nat could pack them either by rolling them without creasing and putting them in a tin tube like a candle Box, or in a narrow deal box by the Coach.  Hannah I know has some reason about her and if you all think the present proposal wrong which I rather doubt myself even while I write, they may both depend on coming here or elsewhere in finer weather. Love to Father and Children.
Yours never more affectionately