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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1665. Robert Southey to Thomas Wilkinson, 7 August 1809 ⁠* 

My dear Sir

I return you your book, with many thanks for the gratification it has afforded me. It is a valuable fragment of History, written under such circumstances, with such ability & in such a spirit, as must make every person regret that it should be only a fragment. The extracts from the Authors letters place him in a very interesting light, & I wish more of them had been inserted. [1] 

All thoughts of the business whereon I spoke to you are at an end. My application to Lord Lonsdale was received in the handsomest manner, – but it {since} appears that a man practically acquainted with mining & agriculture is required, & I who imagined all that was necessary was to let the estates, watch over them, take care of the woods, & collect the rents, – am of course altogether unqualified. [2]  I am however not the less bound to make my acknowledgements at Lowther; – an invitation there was communicated to me thro my friend Humphrey Senhouse, who is going thither about the 14th. & I shall take the opportunity of his stay that I may not feel entirely among strangers. Perhaps we may meet there; if not I will find my way to Yanwith. [3]  My present plan is to follow Senhouse by the Tuesdays stage to Penrith, & from thence get a man to carry my portmanteau.

Do not forget the enquiry at Appleby about Sedgewicks Manuscript. [4]  I am very desirous to obtain access to it, for if the other parts accord with the extract which has been printed, its publication is greatly to be wished

yrs with respect

Robert Southey

August 7. 1809.

Keswick.


Notes

* Address: To/ Mr Thomas Wilkinson
MS location: British Library, Add MS 60580
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Untraced. BACK

[2] In July 1809, Southey was informed by Richard Sharp that the stewardship of the Derwentwater Estates (which were owned by Greenwich Hospital) would soon become vacant on the death of the incumbent. Southey asked several friends, including Humphrey Senhouse and George Beaumont to interecede on his behalf, but in the end it was considered to be unsuitable for him. BACK

[3] Wilkinson owned a small estate at Yanwath, south of Penrith. BACK

[4] Southey was pursuing records of Anne Clifford, Countess of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery (1590–1676; DNB), a great landowner in Westmorland who restored the castles and churches on her estates, including those of Appleby, where her diaries were preserved. An account of her was given in the memoir that her steward George Sedgwick (1618–1685) wrote of his life – extracts from which were published in Joseph Nicolson (dates unknown) and Richard Burn (1709–1785; DNB), The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, 2 vols (London, 1777), I, 294–303. BACK

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August 2013