Hannah More to William Wilberforce


MS: Weston Library, University of Oxford, MS Wilberforce c. 3, ff. 45-6
Published: Undetermined

My dear Sir

Mrs. W and all of you must have thought me if not “rather a kind of imposter”, yet rather a kind of a brute not to have written a word since we parted, so kind as you all were to me! But I know how you are overdone with writing and I spare you every unnecessary line. To speak the truth I have been a little worked myself and for the few last days have been confined to my bed by one of my feverish colds; I am sitting up a little to day but not in very good writing plight having a blister on my back as broad as little William’s face. I wonder if I shall ever see that said little William? – To thank you over-warmly for your feeling and affectionate letter would be to imply that it was possible I coud have suspected your large liberality and considerate kindness . I shall obey you by dedicating Mrs. Barnards kind legacy to the purchase of a post Chaise, and her Annuity to the maintaining it . I hope I shall keep within the limits of your allowance. Any two periods of the year it will be the same to me to receive it. Christmas and Midsummer are my usual grand seasons, but if a Month or two or three later will suit you better, I can manage as I shall have some money of my own to take.

I trust you will be able to mitigate the severity of the new Tax to 200 a year people – Parsons Officers Old Maids and Widows. My Sisters whose Bath house was highly rated by the Assessed Tax will not much feel the change, but to me whose little Cowslip was so little taxed, it will make the difference /of/ from about /£/5 a year to nearly 50. It does not signify for me, but it enables me to feel for large families

Old Cadell sent me some time ago a petition for a charitable case to be sent to you, who he understood had a large sum bequeathed you for that purpose. An old hawks! he is ten times richer than you are. That is, he does not spend a tenth of his income I dare say. I cut the matter short, told him I shou’d not so much as name it to you – that the Legacy was pledged to specific Objects – That your charity greatly exceeded your ability; and that depending on you myself for large supplies for my own schemes, I made it a rule to apply to you for no other – So much for Maister Cadell – I hope you intend to get your Money of him at x times. I grudge that he is now making ten per Cent of it perhaps. Good old Newton has written to me to write to the Bp of London in favour of a Mr. Sheppard who was Curate to Cadogan and who is Candidate for the Lectureship of St. Giles. Now I do not care to do it, as I never heard so much as the name of Mr. Sheppard. Do you know any thing of him and is he the sort of man you cou’d recommend to the Bishop? Newton speaks of him as an upright moderate Man of good character, a good and diligent preacher poor, unprovided for, has a wife and children &c Mrs. W. will I dare say send me a line with your view of this Subject – It strikes me that you shou’d tell the Bp what a mischievous Man that Gun is. it is right the Bishops shou’d know that you disapprove of such mad fellows as much as they do, whereas they think if there is but methodism and certainty that alone disposes all in their favour.

I believe I shall have occasion to write to you soon on an opening for doing good at Exeter where nothing has yet been done in any of the Churches.

Being drowned out of Country quarters a week sooner than usual, I gave that week to the Dss of Beaufort, Rutland, the Lady Manners &c &c at Stoke. We had many interesting scenes, and it pleased God to enable me to be more bold than I ever was in my life. I do not however flatter myself that any thing was done, except making some of the party uncomfortable – but the dog will return to his Vomit.

I am gri[e]ved to find you so poorly, and the more as you were seized too soon (humanly speaking) after Bath Water . I pray God to give you strength to go thro your important labours, and to give you in abundance the comforts of his spirit. Patty and Sally but poorly.

An inflammation in my eyes making a part of my indisposition compells me to end –

Yours very faithfully & affectly.
H More

best remembrances to both Ladies

Why did Mr. P. in that admirable speech with which he brought out his new Tax, speak so exceeding proudly? It put me in mind of Herod; /it/ might have been called by the prophane “the voice of a God and not the voice of a Man, and yet because He gave not God the [letter ends abruptly]