Robert Southey was born at Bristol, August 12, 1774. When he was 20 years old, the French Revolution was in full swing and Southey was so inspired by this that he stupidly conceived the idea of founding a communal republic in the United States. He was ably abetted in this notion by Samuel Coleridge, also a poet. The two young men (Coleridge was 22) worked together and Southey began to publish his early verse and prose in an attempt to raise the funds for this useless enterprise. Eventually, the young poets realised the futility of the project and abandoned it.
Thereafter, Southey devoted himself continually to hard work and he turned out immense amounts of books and poems. Finally the years of continuous over-work took their toll. His health was seriously affected and he became insane. He died March 21, 1843. Today, in spite of all his hard work, he is remembered only for his Life of Nelson and a few ballads such as The Battle of Blenheim and The Inchcape Rock. In later years he cast aside his earlier republicanism, became a Tory and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1813.
He at last made friends with Montrose but he was still an outlaw. In 1722 he surrendered to the English and was taken to London to Newgate Prison. He was sentenced to be transported but in 1727 was pardoned. Rob Roy MacGregor, regarded by many as the “Robin Hood of Scotland,” died December 28,1734. Rob Roy is not only a well-known novel. A very successful film was made about the notorious outlaw by Walt Disney Productions.