Engraving by R. Page after Henry Edridge, 18th century. Courtesy The Walter Scott Digital Archive, Edinburgh University Library.
Robert Southey was born in Bristol on 12 August 1774. He was the eldest surviving child of a linen draper, also named Robert Southey, and his wife Margaret (née Hill). An older brother, John Cannon, had died as an infant in 1773 and only three of Robert’s seven younger siblings (T…