Bere, Thomas

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, April 5th 1809

I write a few lines to thank you for your kind solicitude about me, when you yourself were probably suffering so much more. confirms the account of your very oppressive cold, Which I hope /will be removd by/ the blessing of God on this fine change in the weather, for it is now raining green pease and goosebery Tarts: and our grass, which on Sunday was as brown as a Mat is now as green as an Emerald. I thank God my fever has given way and I am again much better, tho I had an ague fit the night before last, as I generally have on every change of weather. I heartily rejoyce at the improvd account of who spent a long day here Yesterday (which prevented my writing) thinks he looks tolerably. In addition to her heavy sorrows,2 she is now involv’d in two or three /law/ suits which are this moment trying at Our Assizes, and in which, as her Antagonist (her late Steward) a friend of Mr. Bere’s3 a deep designing Man has made a party against her, I fear she will be cast. Every thing however which relates to money is a trifle compared with her other causes of sorrow.4

Hannah More to Henry Thornton, September 12th 1799

But we have difficulties of a far more serious nature than this which I wou’d not trouble you with an account of, but that perhaps you may be able to suggest some useful hints to us. In two or three of our most established parishes where most good seems to be doing, there is arisen a most violent opposition agt. us or rather against. religion. They let P. and I go on quietly while there was no serious Clergymen in the Country, but two or 3 of our Oxford Young Men having been down in the Summer and preached about at our Clubs &c has excited an Animosity that is dreadful. One of the worldly Clergy has declared he will /give himself the trouble to/ set up an Evening Lecture at the Church as the only means he can devise to destroy our evening Reading. I shoud rejoyce at this did I not know what stuff he will preach. If he does however I shall endeavour to make our people go, but as many of them seem really serious I fear they will not. – Our other great trial is at Blagdon, where the Clergyman (the Magistrate you saw here once) is such a hypocrite that he affected to shed tears when I was ill, and said in a canting tone ‘what wou’d become of the Country’, yet is doing all he can to knock up the School, thro a genuine hatred to Xtianity and a personal hatred to one of our serious young Ministers who has awakend a dying woman and several others. This Blagdon Parson has been reading Socinian books, and now boldly preaches against the Trinity, St Paul &c. and tells the people that they need pay no attention to any part of Scripture but the Sermon on the Mount. He has so disturbed the faith of the whole parish nearly that they are afraid to attend at the school where they say other doctrines are taught, and if the Parson is in the right, the ladies must be in the wrong. I am extremely distressed what to do having no Bishop no Rector who cares for any of these things. I am well tried on all sides and am rather more worked than my nerves will bear tho I am better. Remember me kindly to and excuse this long scrawl