Hannah More to Sarah Horne Hole, December 26th 1818

To: Mrs. Hole
Address: 23 Albion Place/ Ramsgate
Postmark: C28DE281818
Seal: Black wax
Watermarks: M&J LAY/ 1816

Hannah More to Mrs Hole/ on her dautrs marriage/ with Mr Welby

Sarah Horne Hole’s daughter, Felicia Elizabetha Hole, married John Earle Welby (1786-1867), rector at Harston.

Dec. 1818

MS: Cambridge University Library, Add.8134/K/11
Published: Undetermined

My dear Friend

My poor health must plead my apology for my long silence; and a complaint in my eyes must excuse the shortness of my letter. I cannot however longer restrain the desire I have to send you my cordial congratulations on the happy prospect of your dear daughter’s union with a Man so every way worthy of her. Your character of Mr. Welby is most interesting; and pleases me so much that I am much disposed to be Felicia’s rival and to fall in love with him myself. It is indeed a serious blessing to unite her to a man who is likely to promote her happiness in both /worlds/ and who will attend to her immortal interests as well as to her present comfort. May God bless them!

I am much gratified by Mr. Welbys favourable opinion of me tho I feel I do not deserve all the kind things you repeat. His early reverence for my honoured friend your dear father is an evidence to me of his good judgment and pious feeling

I hope as the attachment of these two amiable young people seems formed on solid grounds, that they may prove a blessing to each other, and to the parish in which the Providence of Him who orders the bounds of our habitation and our whole /lot/ in life, shall place /them. / There is no character more exalted or more useful than that of an amiable Clergyman who faithfully preaches the doctrines of the New Testament, and who gives the best evidences that he himself believes /them/ by living as he preaches; and who makes his week day practice the powerful illustration of his Sunday exhortations. Nor has the Wife of such a Man a slight character to sustain; she will best prove her affection for her husband by seconding to the utmost of her power his endeavours to do good both to the souls and bodies of his people. To the poor she will be a pattern of kindness, to the affluent an example of prudence sobermindedness and piety. Her husband’s public lessons will produce a double effect on his domestic companion. Will dear Felicia forgive all this? I am tempted to it by the serious strain of your letter which pleased me the more as I thought I saw in it a visible growth in the state of y[our] [tear] own mind. I pray God to increase in you more and more his grace, without which all other advantages tempting as they may seem to the worldly and the superficial, have no solid worth . When you see dear Mrs. Horne assure her of my most affectionate respects. My Sister, who as usual is a great sufferer joins me in kind regards to Miss Horne and to your fair daughter. Mr. Welby I am sure stands in no need of such advice respecting books as I can give him Among the ancient Divines, I prefer Archbishop Leighton ,[2] Hopkins,[3] Reynalds,[4] Taylor[5] among modern Sermons, , Venns[6] Cooper’s[7] Daniel Wilson,[8] Gallaudet,[9] Bradley,[10] Gisborne[11] Porteus[12] I think Milner’s Church History[13] a most excellent /work/

Adieu my dear Madam believe me with much regard your faithful and affectionate
H More


Sarah Horne Hole’s daughter, Felicia Elizabetha Hole, married John Earle Welby (1786-1867), rector at Harston.


The letter is dated based on the postmark.


Robert Leighton (bap. 1612, d. 1684), archbishop of Glasgow. More mentions elsewhere her affection for his writings, many of which were republished during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (see letter of January 7 1813 to Lady Olivia Sparrow).


John Hopkins (1520/1-70), clergyman and psalmodist. He was celebrated as a talented writer whose new versions of over fifty psalms were prized for their elegance and poetical harmony. Many of these were passed down over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and Hopkins was still celebrated into the eighteenth century; Alexander Pope was one reader who praised Hopkins.


John Rainolds (1549-1607), Calvinist theologian. Rainolds was involved in a series of controversies during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a number of them involving countering Catholic and Jesuitical theology. Rainolds’s radical Calvinism proved popular, and many of his speeches, especially his orations, did well in print.


Probably Thomas Taylor (1576-1632), clergyman. Taylor published many works, several of which denounced Arminianism and antinomianism. Collected editions of Taylor’s various writings appeared from the mid-seventeenth century onwards.


John Venn (1759-1813), rector of Clapham. He was not sympathetic towards evangelical doctrine, but was active in many of the organisations and campaigns supported by the evangelical residents of Clapham Common.


Edward Cooper (fl. 1780-1815), clergyman. He was rector of Hamstall-Ridware and Yoxall in Staffordshire, home of More’s friends the Gisbornes, and was an intimate of the evangelical circle that gathered there.. Cooper’s Practical and Familiar Sermons for Parochial and Domestic Instruction (London: Cadell and Davies, 1815), was reviewed in The Christian Observer 1815 (p. 317: Read online) Cooper was a cousin of Jane Austen, though she did not enjoy his writing, calling him a ‘pompous Sermon-Writer’ (Letters, p. 172). See Gaye King, 'Jane Austen’s Staffordshire Cousin: Edward Cooper and His Circle', in Persuasions #15, 1993, pp 252-9..


Wilson published several volumes of sermons. The most recent (London, Wilson), published in 1818, had received a glowing review in The Christian Observer 17 (1819). See The Christian Observer January 1 1819, p. 667. (Read online.)


Thomas Gallaudet (1787-1851). More is probably referring here to Discourses on various points of Christian faith and practice: most of which were delivered in the Chapel of the Oratoire, in Paris, in the spring of M.DCCC.XVI (1818). On 28 April 1818, More wrote to thank him for his valuable volume' of 'admirable Sermons' (Heman Humphrey, The Life and Labors of Rev. T. H. Gallaudet (New York, 1857), p. 84. More also wrote Gallaudet a letter of introduction to Zachary Macaulay.


Charles Bradley (1789-1871), curate at Clapham. His first volume of sermons, published in 1818, proved very successful, running to six editions by 1824. His published sermons would receive acclaim throughout his career.


Gisborne published several well-regarded volumes of sermons during the early nineteenth century. In 1813 his sermons were gathered together in volume six of a nine-volume edition of his complete works, published by Cadell and Davies. (Read online.)


Porteus published sermons throughout his long career in the Church. At times these attracted occasional mockery from more cynical commentators, but the sermons proved popular enough to go through multiple editions. The seventh edition of his Sermons, on Several Occasions (London: Payne, Cadell and Davies, and Rivington, 1808), was published the year before Porteus’s death.


Isaac Milner had, with his brother Joseph, written, in seven volumes, The Ecclesiastical History of the Church of Christ. A substantial feat of intellectual labour, the work brought the Milners nationwide acclaim.