Mottley's attentions didn't end when Coleridge embarked for Malta. Coleridge's wife was to send letters for her husband to Mr Mottley at Portsmouth, and Mottley would forward them to Malta 'under Government covers'. What's more, they'd arrive sooner than if she sent them direct.
I failed to discover why Mottley had access to the Government mail service, but I do know that his business interests included lotteries, insurance, patent medicine, and possibly prize agency. These enabled him to keep a second home – a modest but genteel cottage about ten miles from Portsmouth in the tiny parish of Blendworth. If he looked across the field behind his house he could see the equally modest home of a Royal Navy purser. Mottley and the purser had at various times unsuccessfully advertised their homes for sale, but in May 1820 the purser sold his house to Knighton, who was known to be George IV's favourite.
The following month Mottley readvertised his Blendworth home, capitalising on his prestigious new neighbour. He cited Knighton's choice of Blendworth as proof of the area's desirability, and tweaked the property description to portray his own country home as a mirror image of Knighton's. But still no takers.
Scroll down each page for meticulously researched digital models, and go walkabout in 1860s Portsmouth.
Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed by Ernest Hartley Coleridge (London: William Heinemann, 1895), vol 2
Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed by Earl Leslie Griggs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), vol 4
Coleridge: Selected Poetry and Prose, ed by Stephen Potter (London: The Nonsuch Press, 1950)