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

2123. Robert Southey to John James Morgan, 8 July 1812 ⁠* 

Keswick. July 8. 1812

My dear Morgan

I wrote to you on Tuesday last, inclosing a draft for the amount of Mr Brents [1]  bill, – concerning which I am somewhat apprehensive as you have not acknowledged it. – The draft required his acceptance, & therefore there is the less evil if it should happen to be lost.

Walter Scott apprehended the other day the ringleaders of an intended riot at Galashiels, & got possession of a bundle of letters & printed manifestoes from which it appears that the Manchester Weavers Committee correspond with every manufacturing town in the South & West of Scotland, & have xxx levied a subsidy of 2/6 per man. [2]  – The country, he observes, is mined under our feet.

I almost wish I could at this crisis devote my whole time to writing for the newspapers.

Yrs very truly

R Southey.


Notes

* Address: To/ J J Morgan Esqr/ 71. Berners Street/ Oxford Street/ London
Stamped: [partial] KESWICK
Postmark: E/ 11 JU 11/ 1812
Endorsement: R. Southey Esqr
MS: University of Bergen, Byron Collection
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Morgan’s father-in-law, the silversmith Moses Brent (d. 1817) had produced some silver tableware for Southey; see Southey to John James Morgan, 1 July 1812 (Letter 2119) and Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 8 [July] 1812 (Letter 2121). BACK

[2] See Walter Scott to Robert Southey, 4 June 1812, H. C. Grierson (ed.), The Letters of Walter Scott, 1787–1832, 12, vols (London, 1932–1937), III, pp. 125–126. Scott’s actions need to be set in the context of widespread fears about destruction of textile machinery by Luddites. In June 1812 the radical John Knight (1763–1838) and thirty-seven other Lancashire handloom weavers were arrested after a meeting in a Manchester public house and charged with ‘administering oaths to weavers pledging them to destroy power looms.’ At their trial in August 1812 they were defended by one of Southey’s bêtes noires, Henry Brougham, and all were acquitted. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013