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...
346. Robert Bloomfield to Hannah Bloomfield, 2 January 1820*
Shefford. Jan 2, 1820
My Dear Hannah,
You will be all suspense and trouble, and I now determine to send all I have of news that you may hear of us at least, I have waited day after day always in hopes that you would find amusement and always in hopes of hearing from Mrs Sharpe but I have had no letter. I therefore think that she may have written to Lady Mourdant on Charles's account, and may be waiting her reply.  —
Mrs Smith ought to have her a— whipt for the trick she has play'd us, for on the Christmas morning she sent a small packet which she had from the Windsorites containing letters to me, to you, to Miss Martin, and to Mrs Layman, and containing 'Roxanna'! This she had at the time she was talking with us as you started! I send you the two letters.—What else have I to say? Why that poor little Peter died in a fit a day or two ago. The weather has been desperately cold (at least to me) our mutton was frozen today before it was put to the fire, and frozen again when it got upon the plate, I could not get on with it, and therefore attack'd your Mothers plum pudding into which she had put the suet with the spade, but my stomach was wiser than I, and turned it out again in less than an hour.—A few mornings past, I went down the garden to accomplish an ordinary task but found on a sudden an inability to perform it, but whither frost had any thing to do with this I have not discovered. We are tolarably well, and Rob today was proposing a plan to make a circular dripping-pan which should be able to baste the meat of its own accord without any trouble to the cook. I wish, my dear girl, you may be able to pass your time agreeably, and to help if I send you ten shillings until better times turn up. Keep up your spirits as I do, and by and by the Devil will be tired of kicking us, and then we shall have it all our own way.
Yours with unceasing love
Address: Miss H. Bloomfield
 Bloomfield was hoping Mrs Sharp (wife of James Sharp of Clare Hall, South Mimms) would seek preferment for Charles from her relative-by-marriage Lady Mordaunt. Lady Mordaunt was the daughter of Elizabeth Prowse (née Sharp), James Sharp's sister. After Elizabeth's death in 1810, Elizabeth's estate at Wicken Park, Northants—where Bloomfield had been a visitor—was inherited by Lady Mordaunt's son Sir Charles Mordaunt. Lady Mordaunt lived until 1826. BACK