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...
156. Elizabeth Hingston to Robert Bloomfield, 11 February 1805*
George Town, Potomac
Your Poems &c make a great bustle here; they are printing again at New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia; and before I left Philadelphia the Governor of the State of Jersey sent for me. He is an original in his manner; his name is Bloomfield, and every one of that name he meets with he sends for, and examines his genealogy to find if they spring from the same branch. I assure you I have not been so catechized since I was a baby: he seemed to wish to find himself allied to the Poet, as he was pleased to call you. He is an old man; he tells me his great-great-grandfather fled from England in the time of the revolution in England, in the time of Oliver Cromwell. He had a town in the Jerseys called Bloomfield, the inhabitants chiefly composed of that name, which he has hunted out:—he finished by telling me, if ever I wanted assistance to apply to him, as he made it an invariable rule to help his country people all he could, and particularly those of his own name.