I have been long wishing to write to
you but was prevented [deletion] by
many weeks of disqualifying fever and its attendant
Thro the mercy of God I am much better, that is I am
got back nearly to my usual state of moderate suffering
My Sister Patty is
very poorly with that alarming determination of blood to the
head which is so much the reigning complaint.
May it please our
infinitely gracious God by these awakening calls to remind us how short our time is,
and to prepare us for a change which must soon take place!
And now let me thank you cordially for the pleasure
I received from your interesting letter. Those little domestic details are quite
to my taste, when I love the detailer and the persons who make the subject of
Frequently do I thank the great disposer of events who
after the heavy and successive /storms/ which have passed over your head and half
broken your heart, has mercifully placed you in such a state of comfort and repose,
/&/ has, by an extraordinary interposition of his Providence raised you up such
stedfast, zealous efficient friends, as in the common course even of favourable
events could not be reckoned upon. Such losses as you have sustained can never be
repaired, but surely never were such losses so softened, so mitigated. I long to see
your delightful Establishment, and Mrs.
Inglis presiding in her department, a situation which brings her
talents into full action. When she was acquiring her various accomplishments she
little suspected what would be the objects which should call them into exercise.
May God reward her generous exertions and bless her little pupils with
his best blessings!
How I have enjoyed dear Mr.
Wilberforce’s honours at Brighton; not for his sake, the honour was
done to the Prince in his selection of such a
guest . This notorious and marked attention to such a man, will do good in a variety
of ways. Oh! that it might good to the Royal host! It strongly proves the power of
consistency of character, how it eventually bears down all
opposition. I wish religious people in general were more aware of this. It is this
very want of consistency in many high professions which causes them to do so little
good, /their practice defeating what their talk has /done.//
Mrs. Waldegrave by the desire of my dear
Lady W. just before her death announced to me
Her dying behaviour was most exemplary. She
lived to see her offending, would I might say her penitent son. She is thro much, very much turbulation endured
unto the kingdom of heaven. I never witnessed such a life of trials. They have
been sanctified to her. I feel much for her death tho I cannot regret it. It
closes for ever my connexion with Strawberry hill.
 There is no family in
so many branches of which I have found such zealous friends. Lady W herself, her Sister Lady
Easton, her Mother the Duchess of
Gloucester, her Uncle Lord Orford,
all were singularly attached to me /and my constant correspondents/ I have seen them
all go down to the grave – for one
brightest of the band I have not ceased to mourn, not on account of his death
but his unhappy prejudices against religion, tho they never appeared either in
his conversation or letters to me.
want to send you a cheese, such a one as you liked last Summer, it is of
Cheddar, but too new, you must not cut it till May. I cant send it till you tell
me where to direct it in Town, have you got a leaving
Louisa writes a letter most days to Etta. My love to all the dear children. Remember me to
the Macaulay’s. He is a noble
Mrs. Thatcher said you had been so kind
to invite her, at which she was much pleased.
Will you forgive my
troubling You to let some friend or Servant who goes to Town pay for my Book
as you were so kind to
bespeak them I thought it best the Money should go thro’ you. Pray let the Maker
know I like them exceedingly
With the Six Shillings that will remain will
you buy Maise [unclear] a handkerchief as a little
£ S D
Inclosed Bank Notes 6: 0: 0
To pay Book Cases – 4: 14: 0
Remain –––––––––– 0: 6:
The letter is dated on the mention of Lady Waldegrave’s death which occurred in 1816.
Marianne Thornton, along with her eight siblings, had been orphaned the previous
year after the death of their mother: their father had died in January 1815. They
were then adopted by Sir Robert and Lady Inglis.
Wilberforce had been invited by the Prince Regent to be his guest at his Pavilion
in Brighton. According to Anne Stott the two men enjoyed a conversation during the
dinner in which Wilberforce commented upon the alterations that had occurred in the
prince’s life. See Stott, Wilberforce, p. 24.
Lady Waldegrave was the great niece of Horace Walpole through her mother, his niece
Maria Walpole. Lady Waldegrave died at Walpole’s former home, Strawberry Hill, in
Twickenham. In October 1815 her son, the sixth earl Waldegrave, had finally married
his long-term lover.
A reference to Horace Walpole, who had been More’s long-standing correspondent and