To Lady Olivia Sparrow [incomplete]

To: The Lady Olivia B. Sparrow
Address: None
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: Red Wax
Watermarks: Undetermined

[Three lines of deletion on the address leaf]

MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 f. 27
Published: Undetermined

Mr. S. and Mr. Hodson dined here not long since. I heartily hope that any little disagrémens may be got over. I hope to see them soon again, with a confirmation of the favourable appearance things then were which Mr. H. hoped would be permanent. May your prayers for this amiable young Man be heard!, and may he escape the pollutions of a World which will be throwing /out/ all it [sic] baits to allure him into the broad way. To his dear Sister I send my best love. P. (who desires all that is kind) and I mourn over poor Mr. Obins’s solitude How he must miss you!

Poor Sir E. Hartopp is settled at Clifton He has been to see us. Alas! how different from his former visits when his blooming, elegant pious daughters were of the party! This afflicting trial promises to produce happy effects on the mind of the broken hearted Mother.[2] She meant well but was not a comfortable parent to these sweet girls.

My best respects to Lord and Lady Gosford. Ever dearest Lady O.
Your faithful
obligd & affectionate
H More


The dating of this letter was arrived at using the contextual information relating to the loss of Sir Edmund Cradock-Hartopp's daughters. It is possible that the letter was written between 4 December 1814 and 29 March 1815 (the loss of two daughters would certainly have been an 'afflicting trial'), but the strength of More's language in describing the extent of the loss is suggestive that a rare calamity had befallen the family.


Sir Edmund Craddock-Hartopp and his wife, Anne, had seven daughters. They had lost five of them by this time, with three daughters dying within three years of each other: Matilda, on 8 July 1812; Eliza Banks, on 4 December 1814; and Frances, who died on 29 March 1815.