2057. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 10 March 1812 

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

2057. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 10 March 1812 ⁠* 

Keswick. March 10. 1812.

I have been called from home for three days by poor Lloyd, who was miserably ill with a nervous disease, little short of derangement, & fancied it would do him good to see me. His wife was in hourly expectation of being brought to bed, – he had within six weeks lost two brothers & a sister, [1]  & the surviving branches of his family were not in a state to go to him. – This was neither a seasonable nor a pleasant interruption. [2]  However I left him materially better, when I was relieved by a friend of Mrs Ll. from Warwickshire. [3]  Letters & proofs accumulated during my absence & I have had no leisure till now for making my norabuena [4] . to my new cousin. Oliver is a good name, & the reason for it very much to my liking. Wither is not a good one, xxxx you cannot vociferate it conveniently, & it does not suit with Hill. If you will have a family name you must go back to Bradford, [5]  – which the Book of Martyrs has made respectable.

To night I send back the concluding sheets of my Book of Bell & the Dragon which a few days will bring forth. [6]  I have desired Murray to send you four copies, – one of them you may give to your neighbour Mr Davies. [7]  It is the paper from the Quarterly, altered in some points, & extended in others, so as to be about doubled in length.

My Book of the Church [8]  is not likely to make much progress till the Register [9]  is off my hands. I have a very distinct perception of its parts & proportions, & see no difficulty any where. The object is not to convince the reader of the Church articles, but to interest him in the Church History, – to show what the benefits of the Establishment are, how dearly & hardly they were purchased, & how zealously they ought to be upheld. This I shall do with perfect sincerity: & where it may be necessary to speak of points of doctrine it certainly will not be necessary to make it appear that the writer is one who does not find the Church doors wide enough for himself. – Unless I am greatly deceive myself it will be a very useful as well as an interesting book.

Murray has got the Peruvian book [10]  from its owner & given it me. I mean to give him a series of articles in the Q. upon Spanish America beginning with Humboldt, [11]  – Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, & the Plata provinces furnishing each a separate paper, – reserving the Plata for the last that it may have the overflowings of my History. [12]  The politics of these colonies I leave to Blanco who is preparing an article upon that subject for the next number, [13]  – what I can say about it must be said in the Register. [14]  – I have sent off the first part of a reviewal of the Iceland travellers for the next number, & shall also review Count Julian. [15] 

Mr Goodens books are upon the road & ought to have arrived if punctuality could be calculated upon from the carriers. [16]  This – by a round about association leads me to xxx tell you that the reason why Longmans people did not send Mr Withers [17]  Register according to order is explained, – they either never received my letter, or mislaid & forgot it, – for it contained other orders which in like manner were never executed, & which they say they never received.

I expect to finish the Register in April. You will find in it some good remarks furnished by Rickman upon the Parliamentary Economists Bankes & Co – . [18]  I have just got thro the Madras business, [19]  – which ought to have been terminated by shooting some of the officers, & displacing Sir G Barlowe, [20]  for the misconduct of one party is no excuse for the other. Blancos Journal [21]  has enabled me to give a xxx satisfactory view of the proceedings of the Central Junta, [22]  & I am well provided with documents for all the events of the year in Spain & Portugal. – As for my poem [23]  it proceeds as slowly as if a Spaniard were the author instead of the hero. I am only in the fifth book: it will advance more rapidly as the days lengthen.

Your information concerning Windhams papers came too late. I have never seen Amyot but he was the means of procuring me some valuable material last year respecting Romanas [24]  movements, & sent me several letters of Carrols [25]  in answer to certain queries.

Remember us to my Aunt – I hope the man & the young man & the infant are as well as my young ones – better they cannot be.



* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Streatham/ Surry
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: [partial] 10 o’Clock/ MR 13/ 1812; E/ 13 MR 13/ 1812
Seal: Partial, red wax.
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Thomas Lloyd (1779–1811), a merchant in Birmingham; Robert Lloyd (1778–1811), partner in the high quality booksellers, printers and publishers, Knott & Lloyd; and Caroline Lloyd (1790–1811). All died of typhus in September-October 1811. BACK

[2] See Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 5 March 1812, Letter 2053. BACK

[3] Miss Hawkes of Birmingham. BACK

[4] ‘Felicitation’. BACK

[5] Herbert Hill’s maternal grandfather (and thus Southey’s great-grandfather) had the surname Bradford. John Foxe (1517–1587; DNB), Actes and Monuments (1563) recounted the sufferings of the evangelical preacher and martyr John Bradford (c. 1510–1555; DNB). BACK

[6] Southey’s The Origin, Nature and Object, of the New System of Education (1812), an expansion of his advocacy of Bell in Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–304. BACK

[7] Reynold Davies (c. 1750–1820), Curate of Streatham. He kept a school for young boys which he called his ‘University’. BACK

[8] This project finally became the Book of the Church (1824). BACK

[9] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1810 (1812). BACK

[10] ‘Descripcion de las Provincias Pertenecientes al Arzobispado di Lima’; no. 3645 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, inscribed in his hand: ‘This book of which perhaps a duplicate is nowhere to be found, was given me by Mr Murray; it contains the fullest account which has yet been published on the old Vice-royalty of Peru, province by province. The information was obtained from the respective Corregidores, and printed for many successive years in the Lima Almanack, from whence some curioso cut out the whole collection, and formed them into this most valuable volume’. BACK

[11] Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), especially his Essai Politique sur la Nouvelle Espagne (1811), published with accompanying Atlas Geographique et Physique (1811). Southey did not review these for the Quarterly. BACK

[12] History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

[13] Blanco White’s review of William Walton (1783/4–1857; DNB), Present State of the Spanish Colonies; Including a Particular Report of Hispanola, or the Spanish Part of Santo Domingo (1810), appeared in Quarterly Review, 7 (June 1812), 235–264. BACK

[14] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1811 (1813), 367–421. BACK

[15] Sir George Steuart Mackenzie (1780–1848; DNB), Travels in the Island of Iceland, in the Summer of the Year 1810 (1811); reviewed by Southey alongside Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865; DNB), Journal of a Tour in Iceland, in the Summer of 1809 (1811), Quarterly Review, 7 (March 1812), 48–92. Southey’s review of Walter Savage Landor’s Count Julian (1812) appeared in Quarterly Review, 8 (September 1812), 86–92. BACK

[16] See Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 1 February 1812 (Letter 2027; where the books are detailed) and Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, [early May 1812] (Letter 2089; written following their arrival). BACK

[17] A relative of Herbert Hill by marriage. Probably Herbert Hill’s father-in-law, Lovelace Bigg-Wither (c. 1742–1813), or his son, Harris Bigg-Wither (1781–1833). One of them had ordered the Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809 (1811). BACK

[18] Henry Bankes (1757–1834; DNB), MP for Corfe Castle 1780–1826. Southey expressed his disapproval of Bankes’s campaign to abolish sinecures and the granting of reversion to state offices in Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1810, 3.1 (1812), 207–218. BACK

[19] A mutiny by European officers in the East India Company’s Madras Army in 1809. Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1810, 3.1 (1812), 260–281, for Southey’s account. BACK

[20] Sir George Hilaro Barlow (1763–1846; DNB), Governor of Madras 1807–1813. He was recalled in 1812 and there was much controversy about his actions during the mutiny of 1809. BACK

[21] Blanco edited Seminario Patriotico in Seville 1808–1810. BACK

[22] The supreme authority in those parts of Spain not under French control in September 1808-January 1810. BACK

[23] Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[24] The Spanish general Pedro Caro y Sureda, 3rd Marquis of la Romana (1761–1811). BACK

[25] William Parker Carrol (1776–1842), liaison officer between the British and Spanish forces. Later promoted to Major-General and Field Marshal in the Spanish Army. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)