To Lady Olivia Sparrow. 8-11 October [1815]

To: The Lady Olivia Sparrow
Address: Sidmouth
Postmark: None
Seal: Black Wax
Watermarks: Undetermined


MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 f. 46-7
Published: Undetermined

My dearest Lady Olivia (pardon blots)

Your last letter afforded considerable relief to my mind. Perhaps it may afford a little to your mind to hear that the subject has never been discussed in my present /ce/ . I have seen several of our common friends, but it has been in mixed company, when delicacy on all sides caused a complete silence to be maintained People knowing my attachment to you and the degree of intimacy with which you honour me has hitherto prevented my being asked any questions which would have involved difficulty in the answer.[2] Mr. Way is here now on a visit of some days . He is gone to day to preach at Mr. Boak’s little Church at Brockley.[3] I was sorry that neither the health of my self or Sisters permitted us to accompany him . He was disappointed I believe but was too humble to take it ill, or rather too reasonable to be dissatisfied with what is in fact a dispensation of Providence.

Oct 11th.

I began this scrawl several days ago as you will see by the dates, but indisposition and other interruptions have prevented my finishing it. Our Seraphic friend Way has left us. He seems to me not so much to be going to heaven but to be already there. I am a little alarmed for him, tho his Mind is perfectly well, yet he is so compleatly absorbed in the great Object[4] he has in hand that I fear it will wear him out. His Mind is so imbued, I may say so saturated with Scripture that one does not want one’s Bible whence he is. We kept him very quiet, but in no company that he might gain rest and composure as he is gone on to preach at several Churches in this district. We had talked of you in public in a general way as to your health, where you were &c – but before his departure I took him aside and asked if he had heard from you lately, and when you were coming to Clifton. He set my mind much at rest by saying he had not heard anything about you for some time; now as he was just come from Bath, Clifton &c I comforted myself that the thing is not so much discussed as you feared. I have also seen the Powis’s who dined here but not a word was said which might lead to the Subject. I trust this transient cloud will soon be dispersed and your mind restored to its firm tone, I should rather say your nerves, for your mind seems to have possessed its full vigour in this transaction I have no impertinent curiosity but shall be gratified to know hereafter, that all terminated to your satisfaction I am grateful to God that the young person herself has conducted herself so unexceptionably. Such an experience may tend to strengthen her character beyond a hundred fine theories.

I know not what reason you have to think Mr. W – will be at Bath. Is his friend there. If I should see either or both of them, I think you may depend on my discretion.

Your last letter also is destroyed.

What you say of the conduct of a certain young Gentleman gives me great pleasure as it must be a cordial to your Spirits.

Mr. Hodson came here last week on a Visit with that delightful Man Mr. Daniel Wilson , nothing passed with an expression of my regret that You were prevented from coming here with the Bp. of G, as I had been led to hope. How glad I am that you will have the comfort of his Society. Do let me hear from you soon. Kindest regards to your young companions. I hear dear Dunn is at Bath

Adieu my dearest Lady O. I commend you to the protection and blessing of God
Yours ever
most faithfully HM.


The letter is dated based on the reference to the ‘mysterious subject’, which occurs in a number of More’s letters to Lady Olivia in 1815.


This subject runs through a number of More’s letters to Lady Olivia, without being named directly. It seems, though, to relate to some kind of romantic entanglement between Lady Olivia’s son Robert and an unknown lady.


John Boak was rector at Brockley, near Bath, from 1795-1823.


In 1815 Way was deeply concerned with the status of the Jews in Europe, and was attempting to make plans to obtain land in Palestine, and to undertake research into their condition.