If this were a world in which every one had their due, you would long ere this have
received my cordial thanks for your truly kind letter, a letter so interesting in
variety of ways! I read good part of it to dear Wilberforce who was here when it arrived he was shewing his eldest son the West of England.
He slept here a night or two both going and coming [deletion]. But
his visits were in that hanging way which diminishes the pleasure of seeing
the chief comfort I had was that of
finding him, for him, very well in health to which I hope the
relaxation from business and constant change of air much
I congratulate you on your very triumphant
Bible Meeting, and
subsequent festivity. I had a very satisfactory account of it in a letter from
Miss Powys to her
who came down here on purpose to bring poor
Lady Southampton [sic] children, whom she was very desirous
I should see as the little Lord was at home and
she was too ill to come herself; she seems to be very
suffering in body, but more cheerful in spirit
. I grieve that the fine
little boy is to leave Mr.
Wind’s – some
Calvinistic counsel I fear.
I was indeed surprised at this sudden journey to
Ireland: but the motive was too good not to be approved. I take a
warm interest in your account of Lady Gosford. If
this vile body’ some times presses
down the Soul, it does also some times exalt and ennoble it, and leads its immediate
companion to look down with more indifference on whatever is perishable. My judgment
of Lady G. was always a favourable one, her strong sense, her willingness to read
awakening, and heart-searching books; her sincerity in fearing [deletion] to be
thought better than she was, and therefore affecting to make light of things which
at the very time believed she was seriously weighing – altogether led me draw
conclusions which her present turn of mind fully justifys
I heartily bless
God for a state so decidedly pious as you give me reason to believe is the case.
I hope it may please the Almighty to grant the
restoration of her health, for the sake of her children
; and I
trust she may become a powerful instrument in a still more extended Sphere by
employing the influence which her rank and /fine/ understanding give
her, in bringing others to see the same great truths in the same clear light.
May God strengthen, comfort, direct, sanctify her!
But to return for one moment to
your Bible Gala – How I should have
delighted to have made an unworthy guest at this hallowed festival! What did
your Neighbour say to your muster roll
of Peers and Peeresses? What honour would he have done himself by joining it! A
propos of Bible Meetings – Our excellent Bishop of
Gloucester rode over
broiling Morning to invite P. and I to spend the
Wells and attend
a B. Meeting at
Glastonbury of which he is
I should have liked it much but we
/expecting/ Wilberforce at home, who after all never came till it was
I regretted it the less as the Assembly met in the Abbot’s
Kitchen of that vast and venerable ruin; which was damp and dreary. What a contrast between the good cheer once proposed on
this now deserted spot and the holy purpose to which it was on this day dedicated!
Tho my own health has rallied much from the dry
Atmosphere of this pleasant Summer, I have declined all visits, but believe I
must go next week to the two Bishops at Wells if P. is better.
Her health I fear is declining, and she thinks /ill/
I pray God to avert this blow.
In spite of all my endeavours to avoid it by giving no invitations, and
returning no visits, we are sadly overdone with company
but as every
body is gone or going to
France I suppose we shall live to pine in Solitude
Thornton and five of her children spent ten days with us. We
would gladly have kept her longer as it seemed to do her good.
tries to be cheerful, and exhibits a striking evidence that Christianity is indeed
Nothing short of this divinely
powerful principle could thus tranquillize a spirit so deeply
Marianne is a charming girl, frank, lively,
sensible, and to her poor Mother tenderly affectionate.
I agree with you in your opinion of Owen He is
certainly not only a wonderful instrument, but a very superior man in himself; and
‘let him, that is without fault’ cast the first
. His danger lies on the side
of popularity and acclamation, but I doubt not he prays and strives against these
perils formidable even to good Men.
This is the first letter I have written you for a long time without having your son for a topic. Is he returned to
Clifton? I suppose Mr. Hodson is too modest to bring down his bride till the
appearance of his pupil shall seem to furnish him with a justifying Motive. I heard
with pleasure of the high satisfaction he afforded by his Sermon at the
Charitable Clergy Meeting at
. I heard it commended by different Classes of
characters. He is sometimes said (but not on that occasion) to want a little energy
of manner: but this objection [deletion] I believe is made by those who are
accustomed to the vehemence of his
 are beautifully attractive,
sweetly elegant and highly polished as to style, and exhibiting Religion in her most
amiable dress, and her most lovely lineaments, but certainly not abounding in the
prominent exhibition of certain important doctrines. They abound however with
invitations and incentives to holiness and from a pleasing transcript of his own
pure mind. They are, I think, best suited to those who have already made a progress
in religion as they by no means take in its grand scheme and scope.
I greatly love the Man, and was much disappointed that his sudden
recal on the death of his brother stopped him on his journey
 Pray see all the interesting
Bellevüe, especially Mr. Knox, but take especial care that your
ears do not run away with your heart, for he has a most fascinating eloquence. With
great mutual regard we disagree on some very momentous points. As a teacher of
holiness, and an inspirer of contempt for the world he has scarcely an equal. He is
a good deal of a Mystic.
You see how openly I
write to you even respecting my real friends and favorites. I know my confidence
in you is not misplaced. Letters which are not written in that confidential
skein are not worth having, but the general habit would be
By a hint you drop I do not quite despair of catching you here for a little while
your return, if you can make the Geography reconcileable, I trust you will bestow
that gratification on my dearest Lady
Best love to dear Miss Sparrow.
Almost the only day I have been from hom[e] [tear] Saint Whalley came here – to take his final leave he
, but I hope not so, as he was at
Glastonbury Meeting. I trust he will finish
his vol: of
before he finishes his earthly career. –
Antinomian /ism/  is growing in a most formidable manner in some
friends of whom I had hoped better things. I am much alarmed at its pestilent
progress. I think an open division will take place; and the religious World consist
of two doctrinal classes. – pray write soon
I have just received from a stranger
a new book called
‘the Invisible Hand’ – I have read but a small
part, but it seems well written and pious – tis a Tale.
The letter is dated by evidence of Mrs Thornton’s state -
she was grieving her husband so the letter must have been written in
William Wilberforce’s eldest son
was also William, born in 1798.
The Honourable Emily and the Honourable Anne Powys,
daughters of Thomas Powys, first Baron Lilford. [xref]
Frances Isabella Seymour Fitzroy (d. 1838) was the second wife and widow of
George Ferdinand Fitzroy, second Baron Southampton (1761-1810). She had
three young children: Anne Caroline; Charles, 3rd Baron Southampton, who was
five when his father died; and Henry.
It has not been possible to identify this
Philippians 3:21. There are also echoes of a 1732 sermon by Charles Wesley
in which he speaks of how ‘The corruptible body presses down the soul, and
the earthly tabernacle weighs down the mind.'
Kitchen may have been cheerless, but it is one of the few intact medieval
kitchens in the world. It has eight sides and four fireplaces, each of which
had a separate culinary function. It is now considered an architectural
final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo meant that Europe, and
France in particular, was open for the first time since the Peace of Amiens
in 1802. Over the next three years More’s opposition to British tourism in
France would crystallize as Moral Sketches
Marianne Sykes Thornton’s health had been in
decline all year since the death of her husband, Henry. She would die just a
few weeks after this letter was written.
It was in fact Jebb’s cousin who died in July
1815: Jebb was raised for a time by his widowed paternal aunt, Mrs.
McCormick, and became very close to his cousins. Jebb’s biological brother,
Richard - the elder by nearly ten years - died after Jebb. See The
Life of John Jebb (1837) (Read on Google Books).
Richard Chaple Whalley was in ill health, but he would
not die until 1816.
More, like other evangelicals,
believed in justification by faith, but antinomianism (or, those considered
antinomian) took this further, and held that the saved were not required to
follow moral law.
Invisible Hand by W. Clayton was published in 1815 by Cadell and
Davies. (Read at The Hathi Trust It received mixed reviews, with The
British Critic objecting to its heavy-handed parable of God’s
works in every-day events: the tale was labelled ‘heavy’ and ‘sombre’ (see
The British Critic 5 (1816), p.