Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, 28 November 1814

How our young friends are marrying away! I wish you could see Mr. Stephens excellent letter on the marriages in his family. So much wit! Mary Gisborne delighted me in hers by an honest and frank confession of her happiness That Match was made in heaven. But in this chequered life all [deletion] are not rejoycing or marrying. Our friend George Sandford is coming to us to day for a few days, as soon as he deposited the remains of a young creature his adopted daughter aged Nineteen on whom he doated; and over whom he has watched with fond Solicitude for a year and a half in a dropsy – She was an amiable girl and piously inclined, but he had dragged her so much into the great and gay world, that it impeded her progress. I hope this privation will have a good effect on his own mind. He loves religion and religious people, but then he dearly loves the world and after having laboured hard to make both loves agree, I trust this blow will shew him the vanity of that attempt. Miss Roberts s [sic] will be good sympathizing company for him, as they are expecting to night to hear of the death of a Niece past nineteen also, but are of the most matured Christians I have heard of; her sweet and extraordinary piety has made a considerable impression on her own family, and many who knew her.

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, 21 January 1815

How can I write to you or how can I forbear to write? I have however postponed it, well knowing that you want no such consolations as I can suggest . My sincere sympathy and my fervent prayers are all I have to offer you. My grief is softened by the knowledge of many merciful circumstances; one is that you are surrounded by so many enlightened and truly Christian friends; another and the principal one, is the cheering report they all give of the deeply submissive and resigned spirit with which you bow to this most trying dispensation. In the midst of my sorrow I bless God that he has enabled you to give this evidence of your faith in him, and of the truth of Christianity itself, which can afford such supports under such trials . Still my dear friend, allow me to say I fear for you – I do not fear that your resignation will diminish, or your fortitude forsake you – I trust that the same divine grace will continue to support your soul; but I fear for your body, I fear that the very elevation of your feelings will be obtained, at the price of your health sinking under your Efforts . I am afraid you will think me but a worldly counsellor when I say, I wish you not too much to restrain your tears, or to labour to suppress emotions which Nature dictates and which grace does not forbid. Your life is now of increased importance, your value to your dear children is doubled. The duties of two parents instead of one are now devolved upon you. I know these sort of arguments are frequently made use of to stop the signs and outward expressions of grief, but I know the make of your mind so well that I employ them with a view to induce you not to put a /too/ violent restraint on your natural sensibilities fearing the pent up sorrow may prey more inwardly on the heart and the health.

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, 21 January 1815

Some kind friend near you has sent us a line every day, but merely of sympathy and kindness, and to say how you were. Of our dear sainted friend we know no particulars, those they will send us I doubt not soon . For ourselves we shall long mourn; for him if our imperfect vision could see things a[tear] they are, we should do nothing but rejoy[ce] [tear] He is gone to the resting place of the just. His life has left us an example of rare purity, of integrity seldom equalled, of consistent piety, of charity almost boundless. I shall reckon it among my responsibilities of the day of general Account if I am not the better for having so long and so intimately known him.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, January 16 1815

Tho I have nothing /to say,/ and am not well enough to say it if I had, I cannot forbear writing a line to unite in sympathy with you, on the, I fear hopeless, state of our dear invaluable Henry Thornton *, a letter from Mr. Wilberforce * and another from the Macaulays last night, leaves us little or nothing to hope. Oh! what a chasm will his death make in the world! It will not only be irreparable to his broken hearted wife , and poor children*, but to multitudes of the poor and the pious. May God comfort us all, especially his own family, and sanctify to us this heavy loss, by quickening us in our preparation for our own great change! For my own part, my hopes have been long very faint, tho in opposition to the declaration of his eminent Medical Attendants* I shall always think / entre nous/ that corroding grief for his unfortunate brother preyed on his vitals, and laid his weak constitution open to any disease which might attack it: I dread that every post may bring us the final issue of this long disease!

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 25 March [1815]

I feel a little ashamed of my own impetuosity and selfishness, that in the first burst of sorrow for our lamented friend H. Thornton* I should /mix/ any regret for my petty concerns, as they regarded my poor, with the sorrow of heart which I shared with hundreds. It has however given occasion to the exercise of your generous and Christian liberality, and I thank you most cordially in the name of hundreds for your kind and seasonable bounty.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 25 March [1815]

Death has again been thinning the ranks of my beloved friends. Mrs. Porteus has followed her dear Bishop, I trust to the land of everlasting rest. She was to me a faithful and attached friend for 35 Years, and one of that sure and steady character that, in that long period, I never experienced from her a wry word; /or a cold look. I always spent June with them./ She had been thro life the healthiest Woman I ever knew, and her fine person and sound health gave you no idea of age. She taken, and I spared! Such is the dispensation of infinite wisdom!

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, February 1815 [copy, presented to EM Forster by his great aunt, Marianne Thornton]

Yes my dear friend I must write a few lines, though doubtless you are oppressed with the kindness of friends whose sympathy shares in your sorrows without being able to mitigate them . Truly do I mourn with you over this second very deep wound. Both are most mysterious – we must adore now & we shall understand hereafter. Mr. Stephen & Lord Teignmouth most feelingly communicated to me the last sad intelligence. Written a fortnight ago! Very pleasant were they in their lives, & in their death they were not divided I had looked to dear Bowdler as one of the principal stays you had to lean upon, a counsellor & comfort to yourself & a monitor & example to your children.

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, February 1815 [copy, presented to EM Forster by his great aunt, Marianne Thornton]

But Gods Ways are not as our Ways. Poor dear Mary Gisborne * may He comfort her – no one else can What an effort my dear friend did you make to write me those few kind lines. Mr. Melville – Whom I take to be a son of Lord Leven’s*, finished the letter in a way that has made him Stand high in my opinion. It was written in a fine spirit, & will you thank him for me It would give you a sort of sad consolation to see how every one who writes to me expresses themselves on the Subject of your beloved Husband . Sorrow makes even Lord Gambier eloquent. Mr. Dunn who has been staying with us is always sublime . From men like these who could judge & feel his Merit one expected it but I was pleased with an expression of the General feelings in more ordinary Men living in the turmoil of trade which is apt to blunt the feelings, but whose Shop is crowded with the first sort of Men. I mean my bookseller, Cadell, who writes thus ‘The death of your distinguished friend has excited a sensation of grief, more general & distressing than we remember to have witnessed’ This was said of the feelings of the world at large – my other letters being from religious men. Said no more than was expected of them. I am truly anxious about your health. Grace may enable you to subdue your mind but I fear Your body will not be so submissive. Every time you look on your sweet children, this duty will be pressed homeward to you – in a way you will not be able or willing to resist. I know not yet whether you have returned to Clapham. The events of these last three Weeks form the Chief Subject of our conversation. I think much of you – at a time when I hope you are not thinking of yourself – in the dead of night – for my nights are in general bad. We have paid to our departed friend the tribute of wearing mourning – it is nothing to the dead, but may testify to the living who are about us, our reverence for exalted piety & virtue. Though our friends have been very kind, they are naturally so full of their own sorrows that it is some time since I have heard especially of you.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [20? October 1815] [incomplete]

I have delayed writing from day to day till it should please our gracious father to determine the fate of our beloved Mrs. Thornton . That afflicting event has now taken place near a week, and yet I have not had the heart to write. * You doubtless have been informed by the same kind hand with myself, of the fatal progress and final termination! God’s will be done! This we must not only say but submissively assent to under dispensations the most trying. And surely the removal of our dear friend is a very trying as well as Mysterious dispensation. To herself the charge is most blessed. To her children the loss is most irreparable. Poor dear Orphans! little did we think a year ago of this double bereavement! but let us bless the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ that he enabled this suffering friend to bear her dying testimony to his faithfulness and truth . Never was a sweeter death than that so feelingly painted by Mr. Wilberforce How strong must have been that faith which not only lifted her so much above all worldly considerations /but/ which enabled /her/ to commit her beloved children, about whom her anxiety had been so excessive, to the father of the fatherless. It has pleased God to raise them, among many friends, Mr. and Mrs. Inglis to whose care she consigned, and who have generously accepted the charge. They are peculiarly fitted for the purpose, sensible, pious, amiable, strongly attached to the Thorntons and without children of their own. Thus is the saying illustrated that the Seed of the Righteous shall never be forsaken.* My opinion is that Mrs. T is dead of suppressed grief. She reminds me of part of an Epitaph I have seen, only changing the word day for Year

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, October 16th 1815

My dearest Marianne what an honour, what a privilege, to have had two such parents! What a joy unspeakable in the midst of heart-breaking sorrow to see them bear their dying testimony to the faithfulness and truth of God, and /enabled/ to give such incontestable proofs of the reality of the Christian religion. – She is now reunited to him whom she so tenderly loved on earth, she now makes one of the glorious Society in heaven, of the Spirits of the just made perfect.

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, November 23rd 1816

I did indeed mourn for Mrs. Stephen . Her afflicted husband wrote me a delightful character of her immediately on her death. Nor have I sustained a lighter loss in my beloved Mrs. Hoare of Mitchem.* The behaviour of Mr. Hoare 7 is angelic. Last night had me the report of the death of my sainted friend Mr. Whalley . He seemed to be the nearest heaven of any man left on earth. It is a dying world. I seem to dwell among the tombs. Last night black gloves were brought for us for the death of our oldest friends. we were play fellows in childhood. God has given me many warnings and a long time for preparation may it not be in vain!

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 23 April [1816]

It is high time that I should thank you for your very kind, interesting, nice, long letter. One sentence was more peculiarly welcome, the hope you gave of setting foot on English ground, and of gratifying me with the sight of you. How pleasant when that is realized. Your Right Revd. Anecdotes are most painful. You may depend on my discretion. Besides committing You, I do not love to repeat evil of dignities; especially not to biting painful truths to the ungodly. – I sympathize with you on the death of Lady Longford,* but rejoyce with you, in that I hear she died the death of the righteous Her saviour I trust had been sanctified to her, and drawn her nearer to her God and Saviour. Oh! how soon will the time arrive when we shall, all (true Christians I mean) acknowledge that our trials were among our chief mercies. In the mean time it is consolitary to know that ‘in all our afflictions He is afflicted’. It is a dying world.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 23 April [1816]

We have lately had to mourn the loss of several dear friends. Mrs. Wm. Hoare ,* eldest Grandaughter of my dear Lord Barham* has left Six Motherless children; producing the last was the immediate cause [unclear] of her Son. She was a Saint indeed! I never knew a more exemplary creature. Her trials had been great Her husband, on whom she doated, has long been in an alarming state of low spirits, and seems now perfectly torpid, except when any plan of benevolence awakens him. Gerard Noel, went down to preach his Sister’s funeral Sermon; at his return he found two of his children dead and his wife delirious!* These things shew that the peculiar Servants of the Lord are not exempt from the common calamities of life, and that health and prosperity are no certain marks of God’s favour. [six lines of deletions]

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, November 1817

Time tho it has somewhat tranquilized our spirits, has not lightened the feeling of our irreparable loss. Whether we consider the bereaved Prince, or the Country, the calamity is unspeakably great.* An exquisitely fond and happy, as well as a virtuous and pious Prince and Princess sounded like a Romance, but the woeful catastrophe has brought us back to /the sadness of/ real history. Notwithstanding the delightful and truly Christian letter with which Mr. Inglis favoured /me/ I cannot help considering the Event as a frowning Providence. Why do we slide so much, nationally, from our daily and hourly dependence upon God? Why were no public prayers offered up for this sweet Princess? Why was the abundant harvest, a blessing as unexpected as underserved, never acknowledged at least in our Churches? Why are our Rulers in the Church so much less vigilant and active than those of the State? /Yet/ Why are our public recognitions of divine Mercy, so much less frequent as well as less fervent than those of the [firstborn?] States? I sometimes lay this flattering oration to my Soul, that perhaps we feel more than we say, and they say more than they feel.

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, November 1817

If ever I could be disposed to wish myself a Papist it would be immediately on the death of one in whom one has taken a warm interest. It seems comfortless, that after one has watched over them and offered up petitions for them, that in the moment of the greatest interest, that of their dissolution prayer must cease, the object of your solicitation is beyond its reach, and what was duty one moment is become unlawful the next.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 04 August [1817]

Last Week we had our Annual Bible Meeting. It was a very good one, good collection, & good speaking We had 29 Clergymen of the Establishment. Poor Patty was not able to attend, but notwithstanding her bad health, we supported the good cause by inviting about 60 to dinner and 120 to tea. We had a good many Clifton friends. Lady Lifford the Powys’s Miss Methuen, (who looked woefully) and her brother Tom who made a speech. I have had a very pious letter from poor Lord Edward* who feels his loss deeply, but submits to the hand which inflects [sic] it [tear] You will have felt for poor Made. de Staël .* W[hat] [tear] good might she not have done with those super eminent talents! May she have found Mercy! Sir T. and Lady Acland came to us last week H[e is] [tear] a fine noble minded creature, and I hope will be an instrument of much good.

Hannah More to Sarah (Sally) Horne Hole, 15 February 1817

I trust you will pardon my long delay in answering your kind letter. It has arisen from a variety of causes; when I received it I was very ill of a bilious fever , my two Sisters were confined at the same time, and we had nobody living down stairs for near three weeks . I am much better , but still an invalid, chiefly from want of sleep. Patty has a complaint on her chest, and constant fever, and is forbidden to talk , and poor Sally is in a deplorable condition. The dropsy is fallen on her legs which are much in the same condition that carried off my /last/ Sister. All this is depressing to my Spirits I pray God to support them and me during the short remainder of our pilgrimage.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [23 March 1818]

To that blessed inheritance, my very dear Lady Olivia is the Son of your love, of your cares, of your fervent and accepted prayers, now admitted! He has been graciously spared the corruptions of sinful examples, the temptations of an evil world, the multiplied snares of high fortune, and has obtained the prize without running the hard and laborious race. I know that it is very easy for those on whom the trial has not fallen, to talk of the duty of resignation and to offer all the ordinary topics of comfort to the aching heart. This is not my case, I know too well the abundant sources of true consolation from which you have so long been deriving support /&/ which have sustained you in so wonderful a manner during your long preparation for a calamity which you saw to be inevitable The blessed reward of this resigned Spirit, of this prepared state of mind has not been withheld from you in the depth of your affliction. You had the unspeakable, and to all but a Christian Mother, the inexpressible happiness, of seeing the beloved object of your solicitude become all you could wish, a convinced, sincere, devoted submissive Christian! I know you so well as to be assured that when you had a full conviction of the change in his mind, from that moment the bitterness of death was past. The joy must have been more compleat from its being gradual. Such a progressive change is in my opinion generally more deep and rooted from its being a progressive work. What a blessedness to know that when your own summons comes – (May that day be distant!) you will be reunited, for ‘ them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.’

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, October 11th 1819

I spare myself entering on the details of her four dying days – They were exquisitely painful; but blessed be God, the trial was not long, and every interval of reason exhibited. the strength of her faith and the resignation of her Soul * – She cast herself entirely on the mercies of God, and the merits of a crucified Saviour. I believe never was an obscure individual more generally lamented – this is only gratifying as it bears such a testimony to her worth. The kindness of the good is very soothing, but real consolation must come from a higher source.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [28? October 1819]

My health improves a little, but I still chiefly confine myself to my chamber for a pretence to avoid an influx of company. In my room I receive my particular friends. Yesterday Lady Lilford and her excellent daughters came.* Miss Emily spoke with delight of her visit to Brampton – Dear Lewis Way made me a long visit. He was delightfully entertaining with his Imperial communications ,* his sanguine, not hopes, but certainties, of the near approach of the last days. While he is talking in his heaven /ly/ anticipations, sanguine as he is, one cannot help adopting his views, and hoping as he hopes. He has preached twenty Sermons and Speeches within a week or two!! At Bristol my friends say he was almost superhuman.* He kindly pressed me to go and spend the Winter at Stanstead,* as Mr. Harford has done to pass it at Blaise Castle – but for old age sickness and sorrow there is nothing like home Every paper I open of my blessed Sister raises my ideas of her piety.* It is plain that she had expected her great change, for in her Pocketbook for this year,* she writes, 'this is the last account book I shall ever want'! she also says, – 'May every Year’s charities increase as becomes a Christian woman'! A few hours before her death when in exqui[site] [tear] pain, she said, on some one pitying her – [tear] I love my sufferings, they come from the [tear] and I love every thing that comes from him’. In her delirium she was always giving away cloaths or Shoes to poor Men and Women; tho this was in her wanderings, it showed the habit of her mind. I never knew a more devoted self denying creature.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 29 October 1822

I will not touch on the many painful topics which have lately occurred – I rejoyce to find however that tho his loss can never be supplied, dear Owen’s family are left in comfortable circumstances. I had feared the contrary. Mr. Macaulay has lent me his valuable Wife for a short time in the absence of my other friend. She leaves me to morrow. I have always some inmate to receive my company below, write my letters and carry on the family devotions, and read to me

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 28 May 1823

Poor Owen!* what a chasm has he made! I hear his successor is very promising, but he united so many talents! What a strange match in his family! I inclose a little extemporaneous effusion for dear Lady Mandeville; not that she stands in need of a flapper on that Subject, but because I would recall myself to her recollection. I had many little things I wished to say, but must defer them. Adieu! my dearest Lady Olivia

Hannah More to Sarah Horne Hole, March 16th 1824

I truly sympathize with you on the affecting loss you have Sustained on the death of my old friend your excellent Mother. Her great /piety/ however and her exemplary life afford a consolation to her surviving Family of the most soothing kind. She had indeed from her early life devoted herself to her God and Saviour I remember /her/ total submission to the divine /will/ upon the greatest bereavement she could sustain in this life. I never can forget your incomparable father, either in his delightful Society at Oxford,* or on his dying bed at Bath, which I daily attended, and at the closing Scene took away his mourning widow to our house.* She edified us by her patience in sorrow inexpressible. The great age to which her life has been prolonged* is a very reconciling circumstance to you in losing her From the former state of her health you could not have calculated on keeping her so long . How timid and delicate she once was!

Hannah More to Sarah Horne Hole, March 16th 1824

As for me it has pleased infinite Wisdom to take from me all the companions of my early and middle life, and to leeve [sic] me to finish my journey alone. It is remarkable that I, the youngest but one, and the most unhealthy of my whole family sh[o]uld survive them all. My sufferings have been great, but my mercies have been far greater. It is two years and a half since I have been down stairs, and four Years since I have been in any other house; but tho I still continue liable to frequent attacks of fever, I am on on the whole far more recovered than it was thought I ever could be. I see my friends in the morning and enjoy their Society . At my time of life and with my battered constitution I cannot last long; but I am in the best hands, and I have long prayed to have no will of my own

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 18 October 1825

How shall I sufficiently thank you for your very great kindness in sending me such a bountiful supply. I had not reckoned on so large a Sum, and it will set me at ease as to some excesses into which I have been almost irresistibly drawn. I must /have/ contracted some of my concerns if I were younger; but never reckoning upon another year I do not think it right to distrust Providence by abridging my little Schemes – Little indeed compared to the ample extent of Yours. Only think of the graciousness of God to give you the heart as well as the means to educate, and thus rescue from ignorance, and as far as human exertion can go, from Sin, every child in your Parish! under your own immediate /Eye/ too! Oh The Magnitude of the good cannot be estimated. But oh to anticipate those cheering words Well done good and faithful Servant, enter Thou into the joy of the Lord!* If I were not on the very verge of Eternity, I should earnestly request (what I dare not now give you the trouble) for a copy of your plans, as I know all yours are will digested; but I shall never again visit my schools (which are unfortunately at a distance) * Yet my young /Friend/ does what she can, and visits them when the weather permits, and I should be gratified to furnish her with any instructions of yours. Her heart is much in the business. She has a cultivated & pious Mind

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 18 October 1825

The inclosed trifle is not worth sending, but as they are the last rhymes I shall ever scribble I send them. They were made for the Album of an idle young lady. *

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, 3 July 1826

I am in your /debt/ for two letters, on topics most essentially different, but each deeply excellent and interesting in its way. That which contained the Saints Journal* /of/ the first week in May /was/ not only delightful to myself but was a treat conferred on as many of my numberless visitors as I thought worthy of such a banquet . The last, Alas! what shall I say to the last? Dear tormented Charmile!* I have cordially joined in the heartach of the mourning family. She was not only the favorite but the idol of so many who were able to appreciate her talents, her principles and her various powers of pleasing. The wounds of her doating brothers* and husband* will not soon be healed, I am glad I saw the latter when he came to fetch his incomparable Wife. It is a painful pleasure that she so lately spent a fortnight with me after a separation of so many years. Poor dear little Emily*. I assure /you/ I was not the only one who shed tears at her remarks. Poor dear Child! she was always writing Sermons or Verses at me when she was here. I do not stand in need of the Memento on the Table before me, but I am glad I admired her work basket which she gave me, and when I want /it/ I always say fetch me my Charmile!

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 1826 (incomplete)

I rejoyce that my excellent friend the Bishop of Lichfield is just arrived at his Deanery at Wells, and that for a short time is once more my neighbour. Lichfield is such a sad distance! I wish we had twenty four such Prelates I am sure you mourned for the Bp of Calcutta.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [20? October 1816]

Lest our excellent Bishop should have left Sidmouth (which I hope he has found a salutary rest from his labours) I write strait to you. My reason for writing so soon is that you would naturally conclude Mr. Wilberforce would have been here and consequently you would expect to know somewhat of the result. But mark this fresh instance of the uncertainty of all human things! He had fixed the day of his coming to which we were looking forward with that pleasure which his presence never fails to give. But the day before yesterday when we were looking out for him from Bath, arrives instead of himself a letter dated Sunning Hill,* to which place he had been travelling nearly all night in order to take the last farewell of his beloved Sister Mrs. Stephen !* She had been long declining but there was no reason to expect she was so near her end. Her most tender and affectionate husband implored Mr. W– to come to her, but it was too late, she expired while he was on the road. Worn out as she was with suffering and disease nothing could surpass the affection of Mr. Stephen, his grief is proportionally great. For my own part it is a new rent made in my friendships. For thirty years there has been subsisted between us the most entire and cordial friendship. /Tho/ Always sickly and very nervous, she had a great flow of wit and humour with strong reasoning powers. Her delight was to hold a religious debate with Dean Milner.* But tho fond of arguing, she was one of the humblest Christians I ever knew. Humility and self distrust were indeed distinguishing features in her character. She had for many years conquered entirely her love of the world, and spent a large portion of her time in religious exercises. She was often tormented with doubts of her own state when I should have been glad to have stood in her Shoes.

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, November or December 1809

I have been in much care for a most amiable friend. Mr. Dunne , of whom you must have heard Knox speak as one of the brightest ornaments of the Irish Church. He is indeed a Gem of the first water – His lungs being weak He was sent away from his pulpit for a year. His most excellent wife was in good health, but near her time.9 She passed her confinement very happily at Clifton long after which she was seized with a fever of the most afflicting kind – She who came over well is dead, /he/ who was ill is recovered! – His loss is inexpressible, so is his piety – Mr. Le Touche wrote instantly to me to get him here, I was thankful I had had the thought, and /had/ written to him to come instantly – He came but his relations being arrived he could not stay – I never saw so heroic a Sufferer – He does indeed glorify God by his behaviour. She was a woman of uncommon Merit, and [a] [tear] woman of fashion. He says her whole life was employd in leading him to heaven – Remember us all kindly to your friends

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, 1816

Mrs. Waldegrave by the desire of my dear Lady W. just before her death announced to me her departure. Her dying behaviour was most exemplary. She lived to see her offending, would I might say her penitent son. She is thro much, very much turbulation endured unto the kingdom of heaven. I never witnessed such a life of trials. They have been sanctified to her. I feel much for her death tho I cannot regret it. It closes for ever my connexion with Strawberry hill.* There is no family in so many branches of which I have found such zealous friends. Lady W herself, her Sister Lady Easton , her Mother the Duchess of Gloucester , her Uncle Lord Orford, all were singularly attached to me /and my constant correspondents/ I have seen them all go down to the grave – for one Alas! the brightest of the band* I have not ceased to mourn, not on account of his death but his unhappy prejudices against religion, tho they never appeared either in his conversation or letters to me.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow from Mary Roberts on behalf of Hannah More, 14 April [1832]

I am happy to be enabled (thro’ Divine Mercy) to say that this dear venerable Friend enjoys a greater share of health than was perhaps at any former period of her life allotted to her, & altho’ her memory visibly & almost daily declines, yet her sweet & kind affections, her placidity, her desire to make all around her happy, & her readiness, nay eagerness to distribute for every pious & benevolent purpose, remains in fuller vigour than ever, & render the mild lustre of her setting Sun most lovely & attractive: & your Ladyship will be happy to hear, that at times when she has thought herself about to be called to her Heavenly Rest, she has expressed her entire willingness to depart, & her fine & sure hope of Salvation thro’ the alone merits of her Redeemer