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...
303. Appeal of Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges on behalf of Robert Bloomfield, 15 September 1816*
THE FRIENDS AND ADMIRERS
Several noblemen and gentlemen of Suffolk, the patrons and friends of Robert Bloomfield, a native of that county, so well known as a pastoral poet by his 'Farmer's Boy' and other compositions, which have conferred on him the fame of pure and native genius, having been informed that he is now labouring under embarrassment, owing partly to the failure of his former booksellers, having entered into a subscription to be applied in the purchase of an annuity, which may secure independence and comfort to himself and his family during the remainder of his own sickly existence, the literary friends of this amiable poet are exerting themselves to procure contributions to this benevolent design. And one who admires the moral worth of his character, as well as his writings, is willing to contribute his share of active friendship on this occasion, by thus soliciting the notice of those among whom this paper is circulated, to a case where they may bestow the most substantial benefits on an individual whose productions have given genuine and enlightened pleasure to every reader of sensibility, taste, and virtue. At the head of the subscription in Suffolk are the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Grafton, the Earl of Bristol, Lord Rous, the County Members, &c., &c.
Among the higher circles of East Kent, it is hoped that many who have been delighted by the author's poems, or interested by his personal history, will be glad, at this intimation, to be among the contributors to the announced fund; for which subscriptions from a guinea upwards, paid into the Canterbury Bank of Messrs. Hammond & Co., or Messrs. Stephenson, 69, Lombard Street, will be gratefully received.
Lee Priory: Sept. 16, 1816.