To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 04 August [1817]

To: The Lady Olivia B. Sparrow
Address: Post Office/ Falmouth
Postmark: [Partial] 6AU6
Seal: Black wax
Watermarks: Undetermined

August 1817./ Mrs. H– More

MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 f. 61-2
Published: Undetermined

My dearest Lady Olivia

How my heart thanks you for your considerate kindness, (under such accumulated anxieties) in remembering me and causing me so frequently to hear of your goings on. I received Mr. Hodson’s letter from Falmouth very soon after that from Miss Sparrow dated Gibraltar. But tho to hear of you was a great comfort to me, I lament that no account of comfort to yourself has reached me. Mr. Hodson’s report indeed of dearest Millicents Attack was a fresh source of regret and sorrow. Most heartily do I beseech our Merciful Father that the occasion of this additional affliction may be totally removed, /&/ that you may not as the Apostle says, have sorrow upon sorrow.[2] To the all Wise Dispenser of our sufferings as well as our blessings, I am however deeply thankful that ‘ your Soul prospers and is in health.’[3] May the Holy Spirit the Blessed, indeed the only Substantial Comforter, continue to support, console, and strengthen you. These troubles tho not joyous but grievous, will I trust multiply upon you the peaceable fruits of Righteousness. In the mean time your health is the Object of my extreme solicitude. Be as careful of it as you can, for you have much more to do in this world. Did I mention in my last that our dear friend Lewis Way, with Mr. Marsh and two converted Jews spent a day here lately on their road to Petersburgh where this noble, romantic, heroic being is going on a Jewish Mission with the above named Companion [4] The Polish Jew had been ordained the day before by our beloved Bishop of G– the other Jew a German, the next day sent me a very pretty English Sonnet, correct and rather elegant.[5] Way proposes shutting up these Converts for six Months to study the Russian and other Northern languages that they may preach in those frozen climates. Mrs. Way generously consents to this Crusade. Before we parted Marsh concluded the visit with a very fine affecting prayer. May God bless them and their enterprize! The amiable Enthusiast has heard of some little /white/ stone Church in the Crimea in which he has set his heart on preaching.

Last Week we had our Annual Bible Meeting. It was a very good one, good collection, & good speaking We had 29 Clergymen of the Establishment. Poor Patty was not able to attend, but notwithstanding her bad health, we supported the good cause by inviting about 60 to dinner and 120 to tea. We had a good many Clifton friends. Lady Lifford the Powys’s Miss Methuen, (who looked woefully) and her brother Tom who made a speech. I have had a very pious letter from poor Lord Edward[6] who feels his loss deeply, but submits to the hand which inflects [sic] it [tear] You will have felt for poor Made. de Staël.[7] W[hat] [tear] good might she not have done with those super eminent talents! May she have found Mercy! Sir T. and Lady Acland came to us last week H[e is] [tear] a fine noble minded creature, and I hope will be an instrument of much good.

My dearest Madam now that you are no longer buffeted about by the Waves, I hope you will recover a little strength and flesh, two articles in which I could wish to see you a little more abound. I will not close this scrawl till I have insisted upon it that you do not think of answering it. I love you too well to allow you to write, I hope you have quite suspended the arc of your pen; in case of any change for better or worse You will I know cause some one to give me a line. Pray get Cooper’s Letters[8] (the Sermon writer) They are admirable, both informing and entertaining. Bean’s Sermons[9] are also valuable. I suppose you have got Pearson’s Life of Buchanan[10] Wilkes’s Essays[11] are very good.

Your party I find is a good deal broken. Pray remember me most kindly to my two dear young friends. They have my prayers. P. joins me in best regards to Mr. Obins.

Ever my very dear Lady O
Your faithful &c
H More

[Inserted, upside down, between the salutation and the first line of the address]

Poor imprudent Cowan was suspended from preaching by the Bp for his irregularities. I fancy he enjoys persecution. I hear he was to preach at Lady Huntingdon’s Chapel[12] yesterday, and that he is going to be baptized by immersion!!![13]


The letter is dated on the basis of the contextual evidence in the letter.


From Philippians 2:27: ‘For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.


More paraphrases here 3 John 1:2: 'Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth'.


From 1817-18 Lewis Way undertook a lengthy journey through Europe to Russia with the Reverend William Marsh. There Way had four audiences with Tsar Alexander I. During the journey the two men undertook investigations into the Jewish communities they encountered in order to prepare for missionary work amongst them. See Froom, LeRoy E., Prophetic Faith of our Fathers Vol 3 (Review and Herald Publishing, 2009), pp 411-445. ((Preview on Google Books))


Henry Ryder was, like Way, a member of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. It has otherwise not been possible to identify the Jewish converts, or the poem mentioned by More.


It has not been possible to identify this individual.


Madame Germaine de Staël had died on 14 July 1817.


Reverend Edward Cooper, Letters addressed to a serious and humble Inquirer after Divine Truth, with a peculiar Aspect to the Circumstances of the present Times (London,1817). It was reviewed in The Christian Observer, 16 (1817)(Read at Google Books)


James Bean (c. 1750-1826), Sermons, 8 vols (1817).


Hugh Pearson (1776-1856), Memoirs of the life and writings of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan 2 vols (Philadephia: Benjamin and Thomas Kite,1817). The work was dedicated to Wilberforce. (Read on Google Books)


Samuel Charles Wilks, Christian Essays, 2 vols (London, 1817). The work was dedicated to More.


Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon (1707-91), had established in the mid-eighteenth century a series of chapels, which together formed her ‘Connexion’. These chapels were established in fashionable spa towns, including Bath in 1765, in attempt to induce the wealthy to convert to evangelical Christianity. The Countess was a leader of the first phase of the evangelical awakening, but had also been subject to satire and ridicule, and had been accused of antinomianism, a doctrine which More abhorred. Following disputes with various bishops, the Countess seceded from the Church of England in 1780; More feared a repeat of this earlier schism.


Adult baptism by immersion was not practised in the Church of England, but was a feature of some dissenting sects.