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647. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 6 January 1802 ⁠* 

My dear Harry

After my last information you will not be surprized at learning my Mothers death. it was happily easy. Carlisle has attended her ever since her arrival – but no skill could avail.

You will be shocked at this event. to us who have borne all the preparations & seen all – it was most desirable. the funeral will be early on Friday. it hurts me that I cannot send her to the grave of her family. [1] 

God bless you Harry. I am glad that you were not here. a death bed is bad enough for a stranger to witness – you could only have given & received pain.

I must not omit that in the whole illness there has she displayed a calmness – a suppression of complaint – a tenderness towards all around her quite accordant with her whole life. it is a heavy loss – I did not know how severe the blow was – till it came –

God bless you

yrs very affectionately

Robert Southey.

Jany. 6 . 1802.

her release was yesterday afternoon.


Notes

* Address: Mr H. H. Southey / with Mr P. Martineau / Norwich
Postmark: CJA/ 1802/ 6
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. d. 3
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Margaret Southey died in London, far away from her family’s ancestral burial place at Ashton, Somerset (now a suburb of Bristol). Ashton was also where Southey’s father, two brothers and three sisters (who had all died in childhood), and cousin, Margaret Hill, were interred. BACK

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August 2011