To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 16 March 
Address: Brampton Park/ Huntingdon
Seal: Red wax
March 16. 1815
presented sent him with
I have just got a long letter from dear Mary Gisborne replete with sorrow, affection and the deepest piety.
Ever my dearest Lady Olivia
Ever my dearest Lady Olivia
The letter is dated based on references to Mrs Thornton’s health, placing the letter in 1815.
Isaac Watt’s Logic, or the Right Uses of Reason in the Enquiry after Truth with a Variety of Rules to Guard against Error in the Affairs of Religion and Human Life, as well as the Sciences, first published in 1724.
There were multiple editions of Demosthenes’s orations available at this time, with modern versions accessible alongside editions from the sixteenth century.
The speeches of Edmund Burke, Member of Parliament for Bristol from 1774 until 1780, featured in many editions of contemporary politicians’ oratory published throughout the second half of the eighteenth century.
Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans. It is likely More was lending Dryden’s translation, first published in 1688. More mentions Plutarch several times in Hints towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess as a key text for the development of the young Princess: ‘The preceptor of the royal pupil will, probably, think it advisable to select for her perusal some of the lives of Plutarch. This author teaches two things excellently - antiquity, and human nature’ (Works, p. 140).
Possibly Travels through Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Sicily by Frederic Leopold, Count Stolberg, translated by Thomas Holcroft and published in 1797.
A reference to More’s own Essay on the Character and Practical Writings of St Paul, recently published by Cadell and Davies.
In an earlier letter to Lady Olivia Sparrow on the same head More had lamented Robert Sparrow’s descriptions of spending his time at Harrow in a ‘frivolous’ and ‘trifling’ way. Harrow was an all-male boarding school, founded in 1572 and located to the north west of London, in the town of Harrow. (See also, 'To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 22 February 1815')
Thomas Connolly Cowan, curate at St. Thomas’s in Clifton until his secession from the Established Church as part of the ‘Western Schism’ of 1815. Cowan was a member of the ‘Baring Party’ which practised itinerant preaching and espoused ‘unorthodox doctrines’ which had the appearance, for some, of ‘heresy’ (Grayson Carter, Anglican Evangelicals, p. 111). As a result of the ‘party’s’ origins within evangelicalism the Schism threatened to reverse the gains recently made by evangelicals towards acceptance by the Church of England. Consequently, many evangelical Christians, including Hannah More, reacted with bitter, even vehement, condemnation towards the secessionists.
John Bowdler had died in London on 1 February 1815. A prominent member of the Clapham Sect, Bowdler died just two weeks after Henry Thornton, a circumstance which caused considerable shock and distress amongst the surviving members of the Clapham Sect. John Bowdler the elder published his own memoir of his son’s life in 1816, Select Pieces in Prose and Verse, in two volumes.
A reference to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, also known as the Bartlett’s Buildings Society, which was based at these buildings in Holborn, London. More and her evangelical friends had come to regard the Society as rather stuffy and High Church when compared with the more dynamic and inter-denominational Bible Society.
Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lord of The Isles was published in 1815.
Tour through Italy, by John Chetwode Eustace (1761-1815), was first published in 1813 in two volumes. The book was immediately popular and became the standard guide for tourists to classical Italy in the nineteenth century.
The peace, which followed Napoleon’s abdication on 6 April 1814, would not last much longer; as More wrote this letter, Napoleon was on his way to Paris (he would arrive on 20 March 1815), having escaped his exile on the island of Elba.