St John's College K.34 (James 343)

Hannah More, Letter to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. English, 1802


Hannah More (1745-1833): letter of 31 pages to her diocesan, Richard Beadon (1737-1824), formerly Fellow of St John's College and Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, successively Bishop of Gloucester, and Bath and Wells, answering 'all the calumnies under which I have been so long suffering' (p. 1), including charges that she was a 'Calvinist' and that her schools were nurseries of religious fanaticism and sedition; Barley Wood near Bristol, 24 Aug. 1802. Newly translated to Bath and Wells, Beadon replied assuring More of his support and encouragement in her troubles. More's letter is printed with variations and presumably from a copy among the More papers under the date 1801 in William Roberts, Memoirs of the life and correspondence of Hannah More (4 vols, London, 1834), iii, 123-39, with Beadon's reply at pp. 140-1. For the background to these events see DNB sub More, and the many biographies, such as A. M. B. Meakin, Hannah More: a biographical study (London, 1911), Jeremy and Margaret Collingwood, Hannah More (1990), and Charles Howard Ford, Hannah More: a critical biography (New York, 1996).

Manuscript extra information

240x195 mm. iv+32+iv pp. On the original flyleaf (p. 32) in the hand of the Bishop or his secretary 'Mrs Hannah More / August 24th 1802 / answered August 28th', and in another hand 'Presented to St John's / College by Mr W[illiam Frederick] Beadon [MA of the College and grandson of Richard Beadon, 1808-62] / 1845'. Small College bookplate (nineteenth century) on same flyleaf. Large College bookplate (nineteenth century) inside front cover.

Autograph. Paper, slightly worn at folds, the endpapers and flyleaves somewhat foxed. Nineteenth-century binding: half leather on card.