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...
320. Robert Bloomfield to Charles Bloomfield, 22–30 August 1817*
Shefford. Aug 22. 1817
My Dear Charles
You will think me very long in replying to your last which came by parcel, but I have been visiting at Mr. Walker's of Gravely during the whole of the last week, and only found yours and your sister's mutual information on Saturday last on my return.—This is a pen of my own mending, mind that! Before I give you any account of my late expedition, let me congratulate you on your determind stile of writing to me, by which I am firmly perswaded that you both feel and know what may be done by a steady perseverance in a good cause.
Mr Wests offer would have been a good one if your present offer was not a better—I send two pounds* give Charlotte one and keep the other 'and make good use of it', as old Whitbread said. I am glad to hear that Betsy is safe through her illness and confinement. Love to all that love me, and respects to Mr Swan and family &c
While at Mr Walker's the time was spent in riding about the country. On the Tuesday when you wrote we were at Nebworth park in the pouring rain; afterwards at Aston, Walkern &c at little Wimorly or Wimbly  near Hitchin. We measured a Spanish chestnut which was a few years back entire in its trunk, and then measurd more than sixteen yards in circumference! Mind, I say yards, not feet! (The oak at Amptill is 8 yards or 24 feet as you no doubt remember.) This is by far the largest tree I have ever seen, but it is in ruins. At Chessfield Lodge, very near Mr Walkers, lives Parkins Esq, who has a beautiful house and grounds, and is likewise a great Wine-dealer in London, with a Town House No 40 Weymouth St. Mr W has two pupils, one is a very clever interesting youth, whose older brother, an officer in the English army now in Flander is familiarly calld 'the King of Scotland' being Robert Bruce, and the direct heir and descendant of the scotch king. The other pupil is also a Scotch Lad Brother to Sir — Ramsey; but I don't like him, and of course he will never come to much.
In repairing neighbour Brigg's house the work men have turnd out some Bats of the largest kind, we have preserved one which when expanded is exactly one foot from tip to tip of his wings.
I am realy sorry to tell you that Mrs Flints little boy is dead.
Aug 30th Mr & Mrs Loyd Baker called on me yesterday and I hope to walk to join them tomorrow at Mauldon near Amptill, and to stop a few days.
All the wheat at Stanford Bury except one piece is cut, and is of the finest quality.
You will perceive that I began this letter long ago, but that is not a proof of my unconcern, or want of affection. I have sometimes been out, and sometimes not in the humour to set my eye to work.
Love to sisters. Yours ever
*Nos 35965 and 35966 
Address: Mr Charles Bloomfield, / No. 12 Wellington Sq. / nr the Foundling Hospital, / London.