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...
155. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Ann Bloomfield, 20 January 1805*
Honington. Jan 20th 1805
You will have this I hope by Monday noon, to inform you that I find it impossible to come home for two or three days to come, on account of some small alterations and repairs to be done the old Cottage here, which is become my own. I think that Thursday night will certainly bring us to town, Hannah will come home with me.
We have settled George's affairs as well as we can, but the Leather-Cutter's debt of £40 is unpaid, and he refuses to compound for it. Mr C Bloomfield is paid his £26, and he and Mr Gedge have in their hands the original money subscribed for George, which will be given to him or reserved for his use, to the amount of £42—
With respect to this Cottage we find by examining the writings that there is a £30 mortgage upon it, the property of my Father in law, which gives him a right to live in it, so I bought Georges title, and took the place as he had it, and must contrive to let a part of the house that the rent may pay Mr Austin the interest of 40£ which I gave bond for, as you know, for George. That sum and another £45 which George had at various times in money had already paid for the house, so that no money has been paid, but merely a conveyance of the Title. We find the house is Freehold, and will now be made into three tenements.—. Isaac's wife is near down lying with her seventh. All goes tolerably well here, only no work for Bricklayers is a shocking evil, and produces poverty and distress. I doubt Mr Mothersole means to quarrel for a piece of the garden, but it must be refer'd to the Duke, as Lord of the Mannor.—
I have much to talk when I come home.
George seems glad to get rid of the house, and I am glad it is still in the family, though it will be an unprofitable job to us for years to come. Yet I know you will be satisfied when you come to explain all things.
Show this to Nat, with our Love to him and family.
The same to your Father and the Children and to yourself, until I can see you
[name cut off]