Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, August 5th 1824

To: Miss Thornton
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: Red wax
Watermarks: WHATMAN 1823


MS: Cambridge University Library, Add.7951/8
Published: Undetermined

My dear Marianne

You are become a good creature, to be so considerate as not to wait for an answer, which my heart is more ready to make than my hand. Thank God I am just now tolerably well, but I have been much otherwise on the whole. I have however had some occasional good days, on which I have seen, what my kind Doctor thinks too much company

We have had our Bible Anniversary at Wrington. It was held under a tent. There were some good men and good speakers. The élite of the assembly were invited to dine at Barley Wood to the number of 18. Miss Frowd did the honours, poor I having my usual scrap sent up to my room. To this room the greater part came up in the afternoon. Among others were the Pakenhams from Ireland /excellent persons/ Sister and brother to the Duchess of Wellington[2] (by the way she was here once and all the Langford family)[3] Bishop of Lichfield, dear Sir Thomas and Lady Acland and Bishop Chase[4] &c &c For T. would not let us part without desiring this good Arminian to perform the family devotions, and it was really a very edifying Scene . The day before this, I had a visit from another dear friend the Bishop of St. David’s, and the day after a very agreeable one from the Bishop of Lichfield again, to introduce our new Bishop of Bath and Wells. [5] Of the latter I was a little afraid at first, lest he should consider me a little unsound in point of orthodoxy as he is particularly strict and high Church. But I think I never met with so kind, I may say so warm and even affectionate reception from a total stranger. We are the best friends imaginable and he is coming again . I have not done with my Episcopal-ism yet. – For yesterday who should make his appearance but my Lord Bishop of Limerick and his fidus Achates.[6] Forster we had a sweetly comfortable day and these kind Souls were so full of feeling, thinking it likely that we should never meet again, that both of them actually shed tears at parting, after keeping their horses two hours at the door, God bless them! I think we are come a little nearer in sentiment, at least we agreed to differ. They were late in the evening to Wells to that Bishop. I cannot press my friends to stay all night, as I cannot see them late at night, nor before noon next day – But this exclusion will not extend to you and dear Sir R. and Lady Inglis when your Western excursion takes place. I shall rejoyce to receive /you/ for a night or two and shall turn you over to Miss Frowd for supper and breakfast &c. – we talkd you over pretty well with the Limerick’s[7] yesterday. I believe they miss you full as much as you do them.

Your Italian Count (I cant make out his name) shall be courteously received, even tho he is not an Englishman . My love to the d[ear] [tear] ancient Burton, who not only is content to stay [tear] England but to stay at home – a rare instance of [tear][8]

I feel very deeply for poor dear Macaulay His is a long and living Martyrdom. I see by the demeanor tho I dont understand the form /to/ which side the Chancellor incloses!! And the poor Victim bears his persecution with such resignation and even chearful submission Yet my heart /aches/ for him and his family.[9]

Once more assure Sir Robt. and Lady Inglis that it will be a real gratification to me to see them. I need not say what it will be to me to see their companion. Adieu God bless you Miss F. desires her best regards ever yours

my dear M.
H More

What pleases me in Jebb, because it was what one could hardly hope for, is that a mind so speculative so refined and which seemed almost not to belong to this world of bustle, business and turmoil, should yet lend itself to so many active popular and useful means & project for the benefit of his unhappy country. –


The letter is dated based on the reference to the new Bishop of Bath and Wells, Richard Beadon having died on 21 April.


The Duchess of Wellington had eight siblings, six of whom still lived in 1824. It has not been possible to identify which siblings made this visit.


The Langfords were relatives of the Duchess of Wellington on her mother’s side.


Philander Chase (1775-1852), episcopal church bishop of Ohio. He had travelled to England in 1823 to raise funds for a seminary and school in his diocese, which was then on the American frontier.


George Law was nominated in May 1824, before being confirmed the following month.


Meaning ‘faithful friend’ (from The Aeneid). Charles Forster (grandfather of the writer E. M. Forster) was John Jebb’s chaplain and frequent companion.


A reference to Jebb and Forster.


More here rehearses her long-standing objection to foreign travel; she was especially vehement in her opposition to Marianne Thornton’s travels to the Continent.


In 1823 Macaulay had handed over control of his company to his nephew, Thomas Babington, but the once-thriving business quickly collapsed in his hands. The consequences for Macaulay’s family were severe, and resulted in significant changes to their lifestyle. In addition, Macaulay was being harangued by the right-wing press as part of the pamphlet wars around the campaign to abolish slavery.