Stephen, James

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, October 26 1813

Our poor dear Thorntons have suffered intensely on account of . never was so deeply afflicted at any event. I am glad they change the Scene a little by going to Brighton. has been totally absorbed by Abolition business the whole Summer. He had projected a Visit to Barley Wood. The disappointment to me was great. I have a letter from Mr. Stephen which says their hopes are revived respecting the Slaves, but he is not sanguine nor am I.

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 & 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 Thornton, November 23rd 1816

I did indeed mourn for . Her afflicted husband wrote me a delightful character of her immediately on her death. Nor have I sustained a lighter loss in my beloved of Mitchem.* The behaviour of 7 is angelic. Last night had me the report of the death of my sainted friend . 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, [20? October 1816]

Lest 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 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 !* 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 .* 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.