To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [23 March 1818]

To: [In another hand] The Lady Olivia
Address: Sparrow/ Nice/ via France [In the same hand under the address] N. Vansittart
Postmark: [Partial] 23MR231818 [and partial] F33/18 [and] T.F.
Seal: Red wax
Watermarks: Undetermined

[In the same hand as the address] London March twenty three 1818. [In a different hand] March 1818/ Mrs Hannah More–

MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 f. 71-2
Published: Undetermined

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant Mercy hath begotten us again to a lively hope by by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for You.

To that blessed inheritance, my very dear Lady Olivia is the Son of your love, of your cares, of your fervent and accepted prayers, now admitted! He has been graciously spared the corruptions of sinful examples, the temptations of an evil world, the multiplied snares of high fortune, and has obtained the prize without running the hard and laborious race. I know that it is very easy for those on whom the trial has not fallen, to talk of the duty of resignation and to offer all the ordinary topics of comfort to the aching heart. This is not my case, I know too well the abundant sources of true consolation from which you have so long been deriving support /&/ which have sustained you in so wonderful a manner during your long preparation for a calamity which you saw to be inevitable The blessed reward of this resigned Spirit, of this prepared state of mind has not been withheld from you in the depth of your affliction. You had the unspeakable, and to all but a Christian Mother, the inexpressible happiness, of seeing the beloved object of your solicitude become all you could wish, a convinced, sincere, devoted submissive Christian! I know you so well as to be assured that when you had a full conviction of the change in his mind, from that moment the bitterness of death was past. The joy must have been more compleat from its being gradual. Such a progressive change is in my opinion generally more deep and rooted from its being a progressive work. What a blessedness to know that when your own summons comes – (May that day be distant!) you will be reunited, for ‘ them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.’

I have delay’d answering dearest Millicents excellent letter, from a daily expectation of this final event, else what delightful matter /in her letter/ had I to write about! My dearest Lady you were Providentially sent to Nice for the purpose of converting that valuable Roman Catholic who I doubt not will be one of the many who will bless you in heaven either for temporal or spiritual benefits. The frame of mind visible in your daughter’s letter is admirable. For all our sakes, but especially for her sake, I exhort you, I beseech you take care of your health. There is yet a great deal for you to do in this world You know not to how many souls you may be the instrument of good. God has already honoured you in this /way/

I have just had a letter from the most amiable and most calumniated of Bishops. His bitterest enemies can bring no charge against him but that he preaches too often and works too hard. – Surely he may say with Saint Paul 'forgive me this wrong'. His health and Spirits are better, and he goes on to labour with the zeal of an Apostle. His assailan[t] [unclear] is likely to meet with great promotion!![2] His success will teach other worldly clergy the way to preferment and no doubt it will be sedulously followed up. May God protect our Church! she is in no danger but from herself. The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against, but her own unworthy Sons may.

Daniel Wilson’s admirable Defence of the Bishop and the Missionary Society has reached the Sixteenth Edition.[4] He has just published a thick Volume of Sermons.[5] The few I have read are excellent. I hope to see him and probably Cunningham & Owen &c next Week, if they come down to the Missry. Meeting at Bristol. They have just recd. at Bristol £100 from New Subscribers

My Sister unites cordially with me in every feeling of sympathy, and takes an equally deep interest in all your sorrows, and may I not venture to say, your joys? The feeling of a child redeemed is a joy the stranger intermeddlith not with Tho I address my letter to yourself I insist that you do not think of answering it. One of your dear Party will have the charity to give me a line

Adieu! My beloved friend, whom I dea[r]ly love in the Lord Jesus. I am ever dearest Lady Olivia most
faithfully Yours
H More


The letter is dated based on the postmarks and endorsements.


The Eclectic Review of May 1818 mentions the publication earlier that year of a pamphlet called A Letter to the Honourable and Right Rev. Henry Ryder, D.D. Lord Bishop of Gloucester, on the admission into holy orders, of young men holding what are called evangelical principals. By the Rev. Richard Warner. [2] . Rector in Somerset, formerly of Bath; it is possible that Warner was Ryder’s ‘assailant’ in this case.


This is the same Warner about whom More had been complaining in August


A Defence of the Church Missionary Society against the Objections of the Rev. Josiah Thomas ... By a Clergyman, by Daniel Wilson (London: George Wilson, 1818). In the book Wilson defended the Church Missionary Society from accusations that it was not a Church of England organisation, but was in fact an ‘unauthorized’ association, founded ‘in contempt of Ecclesiastical order, and tending to the promotion of heresy and schism.’ See p. 11. (Read at Google Books


Wilson published Sermons in 1818 (London: George Wilson). (Read at Google Books)