James King and Charles Ryskamp (eds), The Letters and Prose Writings of William Cowper, Vol. 3: Letters 1787–1791

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c. 9 January 1787

General Cowper

In his letter to Lady Hesketh of 8–9 January 1787, G says that he has 'a letter to write to the General …'

c. 12 October 1787

General Cowper

C to Joseph Johnson, 18 October 1787: 'I wrote last week to General Cowper, but have not yet received his answer.'

c. 6 November 1787

Luke Heslop

C to Hill, 16 November 1787: 'About ten days since I wrote to Archdeacon Heslop, referring him to you.'

c. 17 November 1787

General Cowper

C to Lady Hesketh, 17 November 1787: 'I write both to the General and to Mr. Hill by this post …'

pre 12 March 1788

General Cowper

C to Lady Hesketh, 12 March 1788: 'A few posts since I had a letter from our good friend and Coz the General, in which he kindly offers a recruit my Cellar. An offer accepted joyfully by me …'

post 21 March 1788

General Cowper

In his letter to Lady Hesketh of 21 March 1788, C is concerned with his 'poetical effusions' on the 'Slave-trade'. At the beginning of his letter to General Cowper of 27 March 1788, C mentions that a 'Letter is not pleasant which excites curiosity but does not gratify it. Such a letter was my last, the defects of which I therefore take the first opportunity to supply.' C then goes on to transcribe the 'best' of his anti-slavery poems, 'The Morning Dream'. It would seem that C must have written to the General about these poems at about the time he wrote to Lady Hesketh promising to transcribe one of the completed poems and that his 27 March 1788 letter is a fulfilment of a promise made in a missing letter.

c. 1 May 1788

Mrs Throckmorton

pg 602

C to Lady Hesketh, 1 May 1788: 'I have had a letter from [Mrs Throckmorton], the brevity of which was the only cause of complaint with which it furnish'd me, though even of That I made no complaint in my answer to it …'

c. 15 May 1788

Henry Cowper

C to Lady Hesketh, 19 May 1788: 'I was not aware of my obligations to Henry, neither did at all suspect that He had given his Lordship a Jog on the occasion. Of course when I answer'd his Letter I made him no acknowledgments on that behalf.'

27 May 1788

General Cowper

C to Lady Hesketh, 27 May 1788: '… I write to him [the General] by this Post on purpose to inform him …'

10 July 1788

General Cowper

C to Lady Hesketh, 11 July 1788: 'What is become of the General? It is so long since I heard from him that I wonder and am concerned. I wrote to him yesterday.'

c. 26 August 1788

Edward Thurlow

Most of C's letter to Lady Hesketh of this date consists of a transcription of this missing letter.

17 November 1788

John Newton

C. E. Lamb list. This is a list made by C. E. Lamb which was attached to the Ring copies now at Princeton. In his list Lamb enumerated some C to Newton letters whose existence is now known only through his compilation.

30 November 1788

Mrs Hill

C to Samuel Rose, 30 November 1788: 'Having had occasion to write this day to Mrs. Hill I have likewise given myself the pleasure of introducing you to Her.'

pre 25 February 1789

General Cowper

C to Lady Hesketh, 25 February 1789: 'I have written twice to the General and have had no answer.'

c. 21 March 1789

Lady Hesketh

pg 603

The letter to which C refers at the beginning of his letter to Lady Hesketh of 6 April 1789 is not extant: 'You received I suppose about a fortnight since, a Letter from me, containing diverse matters of which you have hitherto said nothing. In that Letter I ask'd you what we should do with our verses on the King's recovery …'

22 October 1789

John Newton

C. E. Lamb list.

pre 1 February 1790

Clotworthy Rowley

C to Clotworthy Rowley, 1 February 1790: 'I shot a few lines after you to Holyhead according to your desire …'

11 April 1790

John Newton

C. E. Lamb list.

7 May 1790

Mr Pearson

C to Mrs Throckmorton, 10 May 1790: 'But I wrote him [Pearson] a letter on Friday … informing him that unless he tied up his great mastiff in the day time, I would send him a worse thing, commonly call'd and known by the name of an Attorney.'

c.1 August 1790

Luke Heslop

C to Joseph Hill, [1 August] 1790: 'I shall at this moment send [Heslop] the joyful news …'

c. 14 August 1790

Mrs King

See n.5, C to Mrs King, 14 August 1790.

25 November 1790

John Rivington

C to John Johnson, 26 November 1790: 'Our Press goes on much at the old rate and I wrote yesterday to Rivington the Printer to scold him.'

c. 12 March 1791

Joseph Johnson

C to Lady Hesketh, 12 March 1791: 'Surely we shall get Horace Walpole's name at last, for I wrote, myself, to Johnson about it but a few days ago …'

pre 22 April 1791

'Our Cousin of Totteridge'

C to Lady Hesketh, pre 22 April 1791: 'Our Cousin of Totteridge's letter is a most kind one, and I send her a most kind answer.'

pg 604

pre 27 May 1791

George Jermyn

C to Lady Hesketh, 27 May 1791: 'A letter the other day from a Mr. Geo. Jermyn of Ipswich … found its way to me … I gave him a civil answer and referred him to my Bookseller.'

6 July 1791

Joseph Johnson

In his letter to Samuel Rose of 7 July 1791, C refers to a letter to Joseph Johnson written 'yesterday' concerning financial arrangements for the Homer. A summary of this letter is in the Panshanger Collection. See n.2, C to Joseph Johnson, 3 July 1791.

12 August 1791

Joseph Johnson

C to Walter Churchey, 12 August 1791: 'I have this moment received your letter and have this moment written to my Bookseller, telling him all that you have said and giving him all necessary directions.'


John Buchanan

There are probably two missing notes to Buchanan composed between 11 May 1791 and c. 21 December 1791. Charles Ryskamp owns a list of four notes and one letter which would seem to indicate this. This compilation, in an unknown hand and dated 7 February 1801, includes Note 2 composed on a 'Monday' and Note 3 composed on a 'Tuesd. Mor.'.

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