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Southern, Henry (DNB00)

SOUTHERN, HENRY (1799–1853), founder of the ‘Retrospective Review’ and diplomatist, born at York in 1799, was the son of Richard Southern. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, on 31 Dec. 1814, graduated B.A. in 1819 as twenty-second senior optime, and proceeded M.A. in 1822. He afterwards became a member of the Middle Temple, but was not called to the bar. He was deeply interested in early English literature and, to extend the knowledge of it among the reading public, he in 1820 founded the ‘Retrospective Review,’ which he edited alone till 1826, by which time fourteen volumes had been published. Between 1826 and 1828 two more were issued by him in partnership with Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas [q. v.] The ‘Review’ provided valuable ‘criticisms upon, analyses of, and extracts from curious, valuable, and scarce old books,’ mainly of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Two more volumes of the same character were published in 1853–4. When Jeremy Bentham [q. v.] founded the ‘Westminster Review’ in 1824, Southern was for a time co-editor with John (afterwards Sir John) Bowring [q. v.], and in 1825 he became proprietor and editor of the second series of the later ‘London Magazine.’ He was also a contributor to the ‘Atlas’ at its first starting, and to the ‘Spectator’ and ‘Examiner.’ In 1833 he accompanied the English ambassador, George William Frederick Villiers (afterwards fourth Earl of Clarendon) [q. v.], to Spain as his private secretary. He was presently placed on the diplomatic staff, and, after remaining some years at Madrid, was appointed secretary to the legation at Lisbon. In 1848 he became minister to the Argentine Confederation, and in 1851 was promoted to the court of Brazil, and received the insignia of a companion of the Bath. He died at Rio de Janeiro on 28 Jan. 1853.

[Gent. Mag. 1853, i. 547; Athenæum, 1853, p. 353; Ward's Men of the Reign, p. 836; Archivio Americano, Buenos Ayres, 1851, No. 26 Appendix; information kindly given by the Librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge.]

E. I. C.