To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [No date, but likely March/April 1817]

To: No name
Address: None
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: None
Watermarks: Undetermined


MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 f. 66-7
Published: Undetermined

My dearest Lady Olivia

A thousand thanks for your attention to our pleasure in sending Clarke’s New Volume. [2] It is an age since I heard from You.

I write a hasty line to take advantage of Mr. Addington’s Patent Frank [3] to send you a Specimen of my learned labours. I was earnestly desired by some high persons to do something towards an Antidote for the evil Spirit of insurrection which is at work more busily perhaps than you are aware. The Tract inclosed I have adapted to the present times , and it is widely circulated.[4] Perhaps you would like to order some copies from Hatchard, and recommend Your Friends to do the same.

Hunt’s alarming Visit to Bristol terminated to his own disgrace. His party was very small, very shabby and very quiet. Not an Innkeeper would let him into their houses, and 14 Printers refused to print any of his papers.[5]

I should like one line just to tell me of your health and dear Millicents and your goings on.

Sisters very poorly –

God bless you both and keep you under his holy protection
H More

You would be shocked did You see the pamphlets which are sent to Government equally blasphemous and Sedition.

The Lord is King. What a support to know this


The letter is dated on the basis of More’s reference to Hunt’s activities.


Edward Daniel Clarke (1769-1822), Travels in various countries of Europe, Asia and Africa (London: Cadell and Davies). It was published in six quarto volumes between 1810 and 1823. In a codicil to her will, More left her set to John Scandrett Harford.


As a Member of Parliament, Addington was entitled to a ‘Free Frank’. For More to benefit, her letters had to travel under Addington’s cover.


Possibly The Death of Mr. Fantom the new Fashioned Reformist (1817), composed in March that year.


Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt (1773-1835), radical campaigner. Hunt was imprisoned in 1800 for challenging to a duel his superior officer in the Marlborough yeomanry: there he encountered radical ideas for the first time, and soon began reading the works of William Cobbett. Hunt had invested in the Jacob’s Well brewery in Clifton, just outside Bristol. Difficulties there required Hunt’s residence in the city, and in 1807 he founded the Bristol Patriotic and Constitutional Assocation. He twice contested Bristol in elections, inciting the public in a way disconcerting to the establishment. In the wake of the poverty that struck Britain after the end of the Napoleonic wars (on which More commented frequently in her letters of this period), Hunt became involved with workers’ movements, and was present at the Spa Fields Meetings of 1816 and 1817. He was delegated by the Hampden clubs at Bristol and Bath to petition members of parliament in the area in 1817.