1784-85: Letters from Hannah More and Martha More, Bristol

Hannah More, Park Street, Bristol, to Mary Steele, [Bristol,] c. 1784-85.

To Miss Steele

Miss H. More presents her most affectionate compliments to Miss Steele; she fully intended waiting on her to day to take leave, but as that, like most of her other good resolutions, is not likely to be put into execution from continual interruptions, she begs leave to assure Miss Steele of her warmest wishes for her good journey. Miss Mores beg to offer their best regards to M.r and M.rs Steele, of whose politeness and hospitality they often speak with pleasure and gratitude. They cannot help regretting that they have had so few opportunities of enjoying Miss Steele’s company.

Miss H. More desires Miss Steele to thank her worthy Host for the pleasure she has received from reading M.r Fawcett’s Sermon, his manner of writing has in it something extremely ingenious & eloquent.

Park St Wednesday

Martha More, Park Street, Bristol, to Mary Steele, [Bristol,] c. 1784-85.

To Miss Steele

Friday Noon

Dear Madam

My Sister Hannah being call’d off to Bath this morning quite suddenly to visit a sick friend just arrived, she has commission’d me to request the favour of you & your agreeable Companions to defer your obliging intention of drinking tea in Park S.t till the beginning of the week, when she expects to return. Will you have the goodness to make her compt.s & apologies to M.r & M.rs Evans for me.

I hope you will indulge us with your Company as often as your friends can spare you, after my Sister comes back, we shall expect you not to tea, but for a whole day at a time as frequently as possible.

I remain dear Madam your very oblig’d &c

Martha More

Will you excuse this scrawl?

Text: STE 5/15/i and ii. For an annotated text of this letter, see Timothy Whelan, ed., Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840, vol. 3, pp. 304-05. John Fawcett, Baptist minister at Wainsgate, Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, Yorkshire, published The Affliction of the Righteous in 1784, which provides a context for dating this letter and the next, as well as the presence of William Steele, who would die in December 1785.