310. Robert Bloomfield to the Revd
Samuel Tillbrook, 24 February 1817*
Shefford, Bedfordshire: Feb. 24, 1817.
To the Revd Mr Tillbrook.
Yesterday fortnight our good pastor, the Revd Mr. Williamson, of Compton, calld on me to show me a letter
from one of his and your friends, which letter very justly calld upon me to
answer yours to me of the 8th of Jany. I replied to yours the very next day, (I
hope you will so find it) after Mr.
Williamson calld, and consequently mine must bear date Feb 10th. But
yesterday Mr. Williamson again
calld with the same complaint against me for not writing to you! And I now
trouble you with this in hopes of being able to clear up a point which gives me
great uneasiness as it may be construed into the most foolish and unpardonable
neglect on my part, and seriously injure me with those to whom I wish to appear
any thing but ungrateful. I do most earnestly beg Sir that you would satisfy me
on this head on receipt of this = and I will here recapitulate the heads of what
I wrote in my last for the express information of Mr. Southey.
First.—I hold as my own right one compleat half of the Copy right
of all that I have written, and we share the profits.
2d.—The works are in the hands of Messrs. Baldwin & Co., as printers
and publishers, and consequently advancers of capital for that purpose, and
payers of half profits to the author. Yet they possess but a small share of that
moiety of the whole copyright which is divided among the London Booksellers; for
Messrs. Longmans & Co.
hold half of it, viz. one quarter of the whole works,
without any responsibility to me or to any one.
3d. Messrs. Baldwin's have behaved with the most gentlemanly liberality to me
since the works came into their hands. When my friends thought of that plan
which Mr. Southey recommends,
namely an Edition of the whole poems by subscription, Baldwins offered to relinquish
their claim on any profit, and to print such work for my sole benefit, and to any extent!!  My friends weighed the
matter, and relinquished such design, as probably being in the end less
productive than a plain subscription of hard stuff or soft paper.
4th. The latter plan has taken place, and Mr. Southey is requested to lodge
anything he may be able to raise, in the Banking House of Rogers & Co.,
Clement's Lane London.
Such, Sir, are, to the best of my recollection, the heads of what
I stated more fully in my last, but I shall be glad to give more particulars if
you require them
I always recon that I lost by the Bankruptcy, and its consequent
interference with their Book-Market, about £250 or £300. At present the sale of
the poems is diminish'd; and I hardly know what is not diminishd except the
I am doing my utmost to place my children out, and am,
Dear Sir, most thankfully,
your very humble servant,
Address: To the Rev. S. Tillbrook, / Fellow of Peter-House, / Cambridge. / Feb 24.