Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, 3 July 1826

To: Miss Thornton
Address: Battersea Rise/ Clapham
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: Red wax
Watermarks: J&M 1825


MS: Cambridge University Library, Add.7951/10
Published: Undetermined

My dearest Marianne

I am in your /debt/ for two letters, on topics most essentially different, but each deeply excellent and interesting in its way. That which contained the Saints Journal[1] /of/ the first week in May /was/ not only delightful to myself but was a treat conferred on as many of my numberless visitors as I thought worthy of such a banquet . The last, Alas! what shall I say to the last? Dear tormented Charmile![2] I have cordially joined in the heartach of the mourning family. She was not only the favorite but the idol of so many who were able to appreciate her talents, her principles and her various powers of pleasing. The wounds of her doating brothers[3] and husband[4] will not soon be healed, I am glad I saw the latter when he came to fetch his incomparable Wife. It is a painful pleasure that she so lately spent a fortnight with me after a separation of so many years. Poor dear little Emily[5] . I assure /you/ I was not the only one who shed tears at her remarks. Poor dear Child! she was always writing Sermons or Verses at me when she was here. I do not stand in need of the Memento on the Table before me, but I am glad I admired her work basket which she gave me, and when I want /it/ I always say fetch me my Charmile!

I have been so absorbed in business that I could not find time to write to you before and the intervals which business left, company filled up. I have been deeply concerned for two Parishes in which I have /had/ a School of nearly 300 for forty four years.[6] They are all Miners and the times have been so bad, that they could not sell any of their Ore. Near 1200 human beings were in absolute want. Besides what I was able to do myself I wrote a pressing account to the Committee for distrest Manufacturers[7] and at /2/ different times they sent me forty pounds. I have also had some help from a Society in Bristol Poor Charles with my Horses and Waggon was travelling all over the Country from four in the morning every other day in purchasing and carrying them food –I have sent them above two hundred and forty Sacks of Potatoes and twelve Flitches of Bacon. I do not in general give but sell: the bacon which costs me seven pence a pound I sell for three pence halfpenny, and this Morning I send for fresh supply back again. Or else I take in return for my food, a small portion of their Ore, so I am become a perfect Merchant or rather Huckster . I keep Shop thro my valuable School Master[8] two days in a Week and if you want any thing at the cheap Shop nobody shall serve you better. I trust that the worst is over; but a few kind hearted rich Quakers and myself have subscribed £100 each to sell them at low prices the necessaries of life, we take their Ore in return, which we hope they may hereafter be able to sell, so we shall recover part of our money.

My poor Women’s Club feast /in/ different Parishes are just over, my good friend Miss Frowd presides at these Anniversaries, and entertains with Tea some hundreds at each place. I call her the Queen of Clubs. 500 Milk Cakes from Bristol and about 14 dishes of Tee are devoured. My Clubs are, I thank God, thro’ my long perseverance become rich. There will be about £1500 among them when I die.

The foregoing scrawl was written near a fortnight ago, and I literally have not been able to finish it. Wrington Bible Meeting had its Anniversary on thursday last I have a large dinner on that day to the distant friend I invite and to the neighbours. Curates who cant afford half a guinea at the public dinner at the Inn. /Tho/ We were not so splendid this time, as at the last Meeting, when we had two Bishops dear Sir T. Acland &c &c yet it was very respectably attended one of the London Secretaries was among those who dined here; and not only the Clericals, but some Military Men are said to have spoken well.

We had yesterday a most interesting party among whom was Dr. Marshman The very learned Missionary from Serampore he writes I think in 13 Dialects of the East, besides the Shanscrit, their ancient and Sacred language. It was quite delight[ful] [tear] to hear him tell the glorious works [tear] Country in that distant one [tear] are proud of being English. [tear] that the excellent Sir Robert [tear] [p]arliament; not merely for the [tear] and More, but as he is the [tear] of Protestantism [tear] best regards to him and Lady [tear] You and the dear [deletion] /Banker/ have [tear] your intention of coming to see [tear] before Summer is over. I shall re[tear] to see you as I dare say Mr. Harford [tear] when the Tropical weather is over [tear] the mean do let me know /how/ affairs are settled, and if all terminated favourably as your last letter gave me reason to hope. Love to all the dear girls – When you come I shall hope to see Lucy if you can sleep together .

Miss Frowds best regards. She longs to see you, as does your ever affectionate and faithful
H More

Vile and illegible as this
scrawl is, it must go


A reference to The Christian Observer. (Read online.)


Charmile Grant (variously Charemile or, in the ODNB, Charemelle), second daughter of Charles Grant senior. She died on 18 December 1825, aged around 35. She was a much admired member of the Clapham circle: according to Marianne Thornton Madame de Stael ‘said of her that she came nearer to her idea of her own Corinne than any one she had ever met’ (see Forster, Marianne Thornton, p. 33). Marianne Thornton’s account of her is perhaps the most detailed to survive (see Forster, pp. 32-4).


Charles and Robert Grant.


Charmile Grant had married, in October 1812, Samuel March Phillipps (1780-1862), a civil servant.


Emily March Phillipps (d. 1834).


Shipham and Rowberrow in the Mendips. The situation in the two villages had been poor for more than ten years following the collapse in the brass trade on which the villages depended to sell the zinc ore they mined.


Properly The Committee for the Relief of the Distressed Manufacturers, formed in 1812 and well supported by evangelicals.


It has not been possible to identify this individual. The Rowberrow and Shipham schools were originally under the auspices of the wonderfully-named Patience Seward and Flower Waite, two half-sisters, and two male teachers: the men are unnamed in Anne Stott’s biography (see Stott, pp. 202-4).