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

2194. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [December 1812] ⁠* 

My dear R.

I inclose this from Mrs C. – Huzza for the Russians! [1]  We stand in need of such news to keep things quiet at home. Even this place is mutinous, – we have had riots about corn passing thro to the South; – & if they should be renewed, – the worst part of the story is, that the first act of violence necessary toward suppressing them would be to disarm the volunteers. [2] 

I was too late for the Quarterly, – which is not amiss as a few xxxxxx more manifestations of the Luddites [3]  will give effect to my representation of the real state of things.

Who is Frankland who made so admirable a speech against Romillys Criminal Law Bill? [4]  – a Judge I suppose. It is one of the best speeches I ever read, – a fine specimen of pure philosophy, united with practical knowledge.

Remember me to Mrs R & little Anne. [5]  How goe go on your young ones all? We are thriving in the midst of frost & sleet

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ Decr. 1812
MS: Huntington Library, RS 194
Unpublished.
Dating note: Dating from content. BACK

[1] The last remnants of the French invading force limped out of Russia on 14 December 1812. BACK

[2] The Volunteers were a series of part-time home defence forces set up from 1803 onwards. BACK

[3] The Luddites were opposed to new machinery in the textile industry and responded by attacking machines in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Lancashire. Southey expressed his fears about their activities in his article on the poor Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356, esp. 348–349. BACK

[4] On 29 March 1811 the MP for Thirsk 1801–1815, William Frankland (1761–1815) had spoken against the bill proposed by the lawyer MP Samuel Romilly (1757–1818; DNB), who, amongst other things, wished to restrict the number of crimes punishable by the death penalty. Frankland was, indeed, another lawyer, and Attorney-General of the Isle of Man, 1797–1815. Frankland’s speech was reported approvingly by Southey in Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1811, 4.1 (1813), 151–162. BACK

[5] Ann Rickman (b. 1808). BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013