William Wordsworth

Ernest De Selincourt, Alan G. Hill, and Mary Moorman (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 3: The Middle Years: Part II: 1812–1820 (Second Revised Edition)

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  • MS. Lonsdale MSS., Record Office, The Castle, Carlisle. Hitherto unpublished.

Feb 2nd 1820

My Lord,

I sincerely condole with your Lordship, on the lamented death of our most gracious and venerable Sovereign.2 We were prepared for the shock, having heard previously that the King was not expected to live three days. Your Lordship will feel much on this occasion; the best consolation of us all, lies in the reflection that George the Third will be ranked by posterity among the best and wisest Kings that ever sate upon the throne of England.

The same Paper, the Times, which has brought us this Intelligence, has agitated my Family and myself much by containing, in pg 580a most conspicuous part of it, an advertisement declaratory of Mr Brougham's intention once more to disturb the County of Westnd.1 It may not appear so to the world, but to us it appears a shocking indecency—we have felt it such—not to leave the people of Westnd one moment of undisturbed regret upon this awful occasion!

My Lord, can any of your Friends be of service to frustrate this coarse-minded Man's attempts? I speak especially in the name of Mr Gee, Mr Jackson and myself—but I have no doubt that every one will do their utmost, should this prove more than a threat as empty as it is indecent!

Sincere thanks for your Lordship's kind offer in respect to the command of the Lowther Castle.2

Lady Lonsdale and Lady Mary will accept of my sincere respects.

  • I have the honor to be          
  • my Lord                  
  • most faithfully your Lordship's  
  • friend and Sernt            
  • Wm Wordsworth          

Mr James Brougham was staying some few weeks since in this neighbourhood, and had interviews with the principal persons of that party;—but with what views I do not know.

I have sent a short paragraph to the Kendal paper, upon Mr B's Advertisement.3

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 George III died on 29 Jan. at the age of eighty-one. See PW iii, p. 40.
Editor’s Note
1 The first version of this advertisement is dated 30 Jan. Brougham later modified it slightly, in order to straighten out the ambiguity W. W. complains about in the next letters. 'The approaching Dissolution of Parliament affords another opportunity to you of asserting your Independence, and to me of redeeming my solemn pledge never to desert you in this noble struggle. This event is, on every account [except the melancholy occasion of it] a subject of sincere congratulation. [It is unnecessary to add that I feel as deeply as any man the melancholy event in question, but I am quite incapable of making a parade of feelings, which are common to the whole nation for electioneering purposes.]' In spite of these concessions to his opponents, however, Brougham made a point of denigrating the achievements of the previous reign at a meeting in London on 19 Feb.
Editor’s Note
3 This paragraph appeared in the Westmorland Gazette for 5 Feb., since Lord Lonsdale wrote back on 9 Feb., 'Your observations on B's Address are admirable …' (WL MSS.), But no copy of this issue of the paper seems to have survived.
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