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 Hitherto unpublished.

  • Rydale Mount
  • November 6th 1818

My Lord,

I rode over to Storr's Hall yesterday, but as I had not heard from Mr Bolton,2 announcing your arrival, my disappointment was less in not finding Your Lordship and Lady Lonsdale there. On Wednesday I went to Coniston. On stating to Mr Knott3 the object of my visit, he said, with a due sense of the respect shewn him by your Lordship on this occasion, that he was already in the Commission for Lancashire;—that he had not qualified, because no professional Gentleman lived in this neighbourhood to consult in case of a difficulty, and the neighbouring Country Gentlemen had been disinclined to qualify also;—but that lately several had proposed to qualify along with him, having been sensible of the want of Magistrates in that part of Lancashire;—that, if this intention was carried into effect, he thought it would be beneficial that he himself should be enabled to act for Westmorland also, living upon the edge of pg 506that County as he did; and that in the mean time his being put upon the Commission for Westnd would be acceptable to him; but that he could not engage to qualify for that County, unless he should do so for Lancashire also. The above answer seems judicious; and I may add that I was much pleased with Mr Knott.

I have inquired further into the subject of the trespasses on manorial rights in this neighbourhood—and do not see how they can be prevented or checked except by the appointment of Gamekeepers, for your Lordship's manors, and for Rydale. If some gentleman would undertake the office, his interposition might be effectual. A Person of inferior rank is too apt to be afraid of giving offence. These practises are certainly very hurtful to good order.—I am also persuaded that if the Lords of Manors in the adjoining part of Lancashire would unite with your Lordship in opposing such courses, it would tend greatly to prevent the settling of objectionable characters among us; and might drive some of the higher rabble, by whom we are infested, out of the Country.—I am well aware of the handle which the opposite party would make of the measure which I have taken the liberty of submitting to your Lordship's consideration.—Regretting that I have not had the pleasure of seeing your Lordship and Lady Lonsdale again before your departure, I have the honor to be

  • My Lord                         
  • most faithfully yours   
  • Wm Wordsworth  

Mr Southey's appointment is from the Lord Chamberlain.1

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 John Bolton, 'the Liverpool Croesus': a prominent Lowther supporter.
Editor’s Note
3 Michael Knott of Waterhead House, formerly owner of Rydal Mount.
Editor’s Note
1 Francis Seymour, 2nd Marquess of Hertford (1743–1822): Lord Chamberlain, 1812–21. W. W. is perhaps referring to some document connected with the Laureateship.
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