Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, November 23rd 1816

To: Miss Marianne Thornton
Address: None
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: Black wax
Watermarks: RUSE & TURNERS/ 1813


MS: Cambridge University Library, Add.7951/3
Published: Undetermined

My dear Marianne

It was so long since I had heard any thing of you that it gave me particular pleasure to receive your letter, and to hear such pleasant Accounts of yourself and friends. What a delightful Society to have so many kind Aunts Uncles and Cousins within a ring fence. Mrs. D. Sykes you know was always a favourite with me. I know less of the others. You have drawn an interesting portrait of Miss Thompson.[2] She must be a fine creature. I have answered her letter which is what I cannot always do. The keen Northern air[3] is I trust bracing your body, while so many affectionate friends cheer your mind. I too have suffered most truly for Mr. Macaulay,[4] and am still not without anxiety for him. Mrs. M. and Selina we had invited to spend a fortnight with /us,/ and it did her good after the fatigue of nursing her poor Sister. [5] He met them half way back and by that means confirmed his cold and cough into a fever. I sent by Mrs. M. a certain pacquet of letters which are waiting your return in a little box.

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. [6] The behaviour of Mr. Hoare7 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!

We have had many of your friends and neighbours staying here one after another. The two Charles Grants – I thought the Senior remarkably well and I have a delightful long descriptive letter from him from the Isle of Skie [unclear] . Lord Calthorpe his Sister and Mr. Wilberforce (dear Creature) spent three days with us the week before last he was pretty well for him, all spirit, feeling & kindness as usual . Lord C. has been at Bath for his health and is better, I rather think the Gisbornes are moving this way. Young Elliot[7] spent the day here yesterday – he has good Sense, a correct taste and much piety

The dear Bishop of Gloucester comes to us sometimes . I hope you are delighted with his Charge. He presided at our Wrington Bible Meeting. I assure you it looked like the time of primitive Christianity to see a Bishop making most expressive Speeches in a Waggon house covered with an Awning of Canvas. We had many good Speakers, a large and genteel Audience and 25 Clergymen of the Establishment. After the Meeting the select part of the company repaired to Barley Wood – Th[tear] of us poor infirm Animals, enterta[tear] 62 Gentlemen and Ladies at dinner and 120 at tea!! But the greatest part of the treat, because the rarest, was, that it was one of the finest days that could be seen and our party seemed to enjoy it very much. The dear Bishop said ‘it was a day of days’!

We have been expecting Lady O Sparrow, but she is still staying at Sidmouth.

[Final section of letter has been cut away]

do come, a long way commonly, we cannot send them off with the lye – not at home. As to health I am the best of a bad bunch. Sally has good days, but P. I fear is very declining – constant fever yet she is always employ’d and I believe Dorcas[8] never made so many Garments. Indeed the poor [final section of letter has been cut away]

[Written at the top of the letter, sideways, between the salutation and the letter:]

Cadell has just published a Volume of my Poems in a new Edition with a very pretty Vignette of the Temple at Barley Wood at the head. [9]

[Written at the top of the letter, above the date is:]

I venture to inclose to Miss Thompson thro her brother


The letter is dated based on the handwritten addition on the letter.


It is possible that Marianne Thornton was visiting with her Sykes aunt and uncle, who were based in Kingston-upon-Hull in Yorkshire.


Zachary Macaulay suffered relatively frequent bouts of poor health.


Mary Mills.


Lydia Henrietta Malortie Hoare, who had died earlier in 1816. Her son, Charles Hoare (1781-1865), was the evangelical vicar of Blandford Forum in Dorset, and connected to More’s circle in Somerset.


Henry Hoare (1750-1828), a banker in London, was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society.


Likely Henry Venn Elliott (1792-1865), the evangelical nephew of the rector of Clapham, John Venn. In 1811 he had helped form a Cambridge branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and in 1816 was elected to a fellowship at Trinity College.


Most likely one of More’s servants.


More’s Poems was published by Cadell and Davies in 1816.