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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1788. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 27 June 1810 ⁠* 

Keswick. June 27. 1810.

My dear Grosvenor

This evening there came a letter franked by that noble franker the first Lord, [1]  – I opened it eagerly thinking to have certain tidings of your movements, & behold it contained nothing except a blank stamp, – not a receipt as usual, but a mere stamp, so that why it came, or what it is for, unless you can inform me I am likely never to know.

Will you contrive to have the sum of £3– 5s/ paid for me to Mr George Ridout [2]  in Paternoster Row, – his father is a surgeon I believe, [3]  – but the Row is not very long, & is probably one of those places in which the inhabitants know who {are} their neighbours. I owe him this money for some books which he purchased for me in Spain, whither he went with Jacob the M.P. [4]  whom Whitbread [5]  cross-examined in his character for of Council for Buonaparte. [6]  & as I have no acquaintance with Ridout, & really feel much indebted to him for his xxx civility; I shall {be glad} to have the money part of the obligation settled as soon as convenient. You will not for a moment suppose that I am wishing you, an invalid, to perform this commission in any other way, than by sending him the money in a note, & requesting, if he be not at home when the messenger arrives, that he would acknowledge it by the twopenny post. Will you also let Miss Betham know that you are coming hither, – Colonel Peachy has left some little trinket for Edith in her hands, – as a memorial of his wife.

My cruel summer cold has taken up the quarters with me as usual, & my eyes & nose are suffering severely. I look anxiously for a line for you that I may secure your lodgings –

God bless you Grosvenor

Yrs very affectionately

Robert Southey


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate/ London./ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 30 JUN 30/ 1810
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 24
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury. BACK

[2] George Ridout (1788–1871), later Lecturer and Vicar of Newland, Gloucestershire. BACK

[3] John Gibbs Ridout (1758–1823), London apothecary. He had previously given medical advice to Coleridge. BACK

[4] William Jacob (1761/2–1851; DNB), MP for Rye 1808–1812. He made a 6-month visit to Spain in 1809–1810 and published Travels in the South of Spain the following year. BACK

[5] The radical MP Samuel Whitbread (1764–1815; DNB). BACK

[6] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808, 1.1 (1810), 432, reporting William Jacob’s speech in the Commons on 9 March 1808, retailing French atrocities at Puerto Real; Whitbread then rose to challenge Jacob and ask him if he had been an eye-witness to these scenes. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013