299. Robert Southey to James Losh, 28 March  *
Wednesday 28 March.
Locke  has at last answered my letter. I had directed it wrongly, & this accounts for the delay. his letter is a very odd one, & unsatisfactory as to the Blue Alms.  he himself only states that the fee is certainly worth one hundred thousand pounds, & proceeds to state <point out> some other instances of money “ridiculously applied.” at the conclusion he says “if you intend to intitle yourself to any future observations of mine, you must give me a friendly critic on a piece now in Tom Norris’s press (Taunton) intitled An Evidential union with Jesus Christ. Pre-existence of Souls & universal restitution treated as scripture doctrines.”  the Postscript tells me what stages pass his door. he is a comical fellow, but we shall get no information from him.
* Address: To/ James Losh Esqr/ St Jameses
Watermark: shield, 1796 beneath
Endorsement: Letter from Southey the poet to Mr. Losh who gave it to/ JD
MS: Newnham College, Cambridge, Harold Young Papers 382b. ALS; 2p.
 Southey had asked Locke for information about the financial mismanagement of the Blue Alms Charity, Bath, which was funded by the revenue from a farm. Locke had surveyed the farm in 1774 and estimated that it was ‘worth little less than 10,000l. per annum’; but ‘notwithstanding the marvellous increase of rents’ the Blue Alms Charity used this vast income for ‘the maintenance of thirteen people only!’, Letters and Papers on Agriculture, Planting, &c. Selected from the Correspondence-Book of the Society Instituted at Bath, For the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (Bath, 1790), p. 184 n*; see also Robert Southey to John May, 6 April 1798, Letter 303. BACK