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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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  • Address: To Lord Viscount Lowther, London.
  • Postmark: 17 Oct. 1818.
  • Stamp: Kendal Penny Post.
  • MS. Lonsdale MSS., Record Office, The Castle, Carlisle. Hitherto unpublished.

  • Rydale Mount
  • Octbr 14th [1818]

My dear Lord Lowther,

The results of my visit to Kendal has not been more favorable than I expected.—It does not appear to be known by any of the pg 493Lowther Party in Kendal, who wrote the Letter.1 Suspicion falls on old Thomson2—but it is no more than suspicion—and I think on very slight, that is, little better than general, grounds.—I applied to Mr Surgeon Harrison; and he has promised to do all in his power; but he does not hope to succeed. I have also set another person to work. The difficulty lies chiefly in this, that one cannot procure positive evidence without a breach of confidence in some quarter or other—and one cannot attempt to put respectable people upon any service of that kind, if such could undertake it. So that all that I hope for is a concurrence of circumstantial evidence tending to fasten suspicion on somebody or other. People are much more upon their guard than in the beginning of the Contest, and the two parties mixing so much less with each other makes it more difficult for each to learn what its opponent is doing.

Saturday was a very stormy day so that Brougham's grand entree3 was very inauspicious, and the sport in a great measure spoiled. He addressed however a short speech to the Mob, in which he bewailed as heretofore, the unfavourableness of the weather. Old Wakefield himself acknowledged that if it had not been for the wetness of the night there would most likely have been disturbances. Everyone else seems of the same opinion.

Young Wilson4 of Abbot Hall, says that Mr Daniel Harrison assured him that the Blues in Kendal had made 30 additional Freeholds since the election. This, I hope, is an exaggeration, but I know that several have been made.

It seems best to take no further steps for the present in regard to the threats held out by the opposite Party, or to what has already been done upon this shameful principle. It is clear that they hope to intimidate us by slander and calumny. They will be disappointed. But, with submission to your feelings, I think we ought to wait a little, till we can see farther into what has been done, and what they mean to do.

  • I remain my dear Lord Lowther        
  • very faithfully yours      
  • W. Wordsworth   

Brougham entered Kendal in a Gig. Mr Wilberforce attended pg 494yesterday the Bible Society meeting1 at Kendal, and spoke 40 minutes. Hardy,2 your Council, was there also, and spoke an hour.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 Signed Birch.
Editor’s Note
2 Probably Mr. Thomson of Ambleside, whose fervent support for Broughham is noted in L. 540.
Editor’s Note
3 For the Dinner on 10 Oct., see Kendal Chronicle for the 17th. The grand procession beforehand was spoilt by rain. Brougham's arrival by gig was ridiculed in the Westmorland Gazette for the 17th.
Editor’s Note
4 Edward Wilson (1796–1870), later of Rigmaden Park.
Editor’s Note
1 Fully reported in the Kendal Chronicle for 17 and 24 Oct., but only briefly noticed in the Westmorland Gazette. In his speech Wilberforce attributed the success of the Bible Society to the fact that it united all sects and parties in pursuit of one grand object, whereas the S.P.C.K. was less effective in that membership was confined to the Established Church.
Editor’s Note
2 John Hardy, Chairman of the meeting.
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