MARY HAYS IN CRABB ROBINSON'S DIARY



Previously, what was known about Hays and Crabb Robinson rested upon the letters published in Brooks (Correspondence, 2004) that passed between the two friends and relations (by marriage) and a handful of references (see below) from Crabb Robinson's Diary and Reminiscences published by Edith Morley (Henry Crabb Robinson on Books and Their Writers, 3 vols, 1938) and Thomas Sadler (Diary, Reminiscences and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, 3 vols, 1869; 2 vols, 1872).

 

Eight citations in Morley:  22 March, 11 June, and 1 September 1813; 30 November 1817; 30 August 1819; 21 February 1843; 1799 Reminiscences; and HCR to William Pattisson, 22 December 1805.


Two citations in Sadler: both from 1799 Reminiscences.


In actuality, nearly 190 references to Mary Hays can be found within the various pages of Robinson's Diary and Reminiscences (not including many other references to members of Hays's family, as well as numerous previously unknown references in Robinson's brief diaries and notebooks between 1800 and 1810). The omissions by these two early editors of Robinson concerning these references to Mary Hays effectively buried them (and her, in many respects) within the massive Crabb Robinson archive at Dr. Williams's Library until they were uncovered by Timothy Whelan and presented here for the first time. These references reveal the depth of the friendship between the novelist and diarist, both individuals espousing radical ideas in the 1790s. They also reveal the intricate familial connectedness that existed between them after the marriages of Peter and George Wedd (distant cousins of Robinson) to daughters of John Dunkin, Jr. (nieces of Mary Hays) in 1809 and 1812, with Robinson only missing two periods (1801-04, 1830) when he did not see her at least once each year, beginning in 1799 and remaining constant until her death in February 1843 (he served as one of her pall bearers).