To Lady Olivia Sparrow, February 17 1815

To: The Lady Olivia Sparrow
Address: Brampton Park/ Huntingdon
Stamped: None
Postmark: BRISTOL18FE181815
Seal: Black Wax
Watermarks: Undetermined

Hart Davis [and] Feby. 17th 1815

MS: MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 ff. 30-1
Published: Undetermined

Anecdote. You may depend on my discretion more perhaps than on any other quality. Pray tell me the lady's criticisms on a certain book. She has much pretension in that line

I hope you are still enjoying the profitable and very pleasant Society [deletion]. He cribbed me sadly in the time he bestowed on us. If he has not left you be so good to tell him that I received his valuable present of Fenclon.[1] It was indeed paying me for my Bristol Stones with Jewels of the first water. Pray tell him also that I was afraid, that thro the well meant folly of stupid Bulgin he had not receved [sic] a copy both for himself and Mr. Le Touche, but have at last the satisfaction to find that he did. I woud write to himself but from the fear that he has left you, and if not this will save him the trouble of a letter I hope to see him again. The loss of such friends as we have lost makes us cling still closer to those of the same class who remain to us – I am ready to exclaim with Wilberforce in his last letter – Who next Lord?

I hear Cowan has quitted Clifton, after having perfectly /mobbed/ the Audience at a Sermon he preached for some Charity, for putting their shabby pound Notes into the plate If the report I heard was not exaggerated there never was such exhibition of imprudence rashness and violence in a regular church. His departure must be a great relief to good sober Hensman whose church was nearly deserted by the more sober-minded residents.

Little Tidy[2] about whom you condescend to enquire is the most amusing, sprightly idle little witch imaginable. The greatest lover of humour and hater of literature; a wit & a dunce. Your beautiful books are kept on a high shelf in her sight, nor is she allowed to see the pictures which are her delight till she can read the words

Be sure let me know your opinion of the 2d. Vol of St. Paul [3] , and discriminating which parts you like best.

Patty who is poorly desires her affectionate respects . – My kindest regards to your fair companion, never forgetting Mr. Obins, of whom I rejoyce to hear such good report. May he go on unto perfection.

I have not heard of the Saint of Chelwood very lately, the last account was tolerably good. Adieu my dearest Lady – In my state I could not have summoned congee to write so long a scrawl to any one else, at least it is proof of the sh[tear]

affection of your Ladyship['s]
ever faithful
H More


The Life of Archsbishop Fenclon by a Mr. Butler, published in 1810


Louisa Tidy, daughter of More’s coachman Charles. Aged about six at the time of this letter, Louisa had been absorbed into More’s family, where she ‘added life and sparkle to the elderly household’ (See Anne Stott, Hannah More: the First Victorian, p. 295).


Hannah More's An Essay on the Character and Practical Writings of St. Paul was published by Cadell and Davies in 1815.