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Finding Aid to the Hannah More Collection MS.1997.009
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical Note
  • Processing Information
  • Acquisition
  • Publication Rights
  • Access
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials
  • Preferred Citation

  • Title: Hannah More Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.1997.009
    Contributing Institution: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.0 Linear feet (5 boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1748-1830
    Date (inclusive): 1748-1933
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Physical Location: Clark Library
    Language of Material: English
    Abstract: Letters written to and from writer and social reformer Hannah More, as well as other manuscript and visual materials relating to the lives of More and her contemporaries.
    creator: More, Hannah, 1745-1833

    Biographical Note

    Hannah More was born near Bristol, England, on February 2, 1745, the daughter of Jacob and Mary More. Jacob More was a school master who educated his five daughters, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah (Sally), Hannah and Martha (Patty). Hannah proved to be a bright and able pupil. Hannah’s elder sisters made an independent living by establishing a successful boarding school for young ladies, and Hannah joined them around the age of 16. At the school, Hannah, who had shown her literary ability from a young age, wrote poems and plays, in addition to translations of classical works. Hannah gave up her share in the school at the age of 22, when she became engaged to John Turner, a wealthy landowner twenty years her senior. The wedding was set on three different occasions, all of which were cancelled by Mr. Turner. After six years, the engagement was broken off, and Mr. Turner settled an annuity on Hannah, against her will and knowledge. However, Hannah finally accepted the offer, which provided her an independent living, and allowed her to devote her time to her literary pursuits. Around 1774, Hannah left for London, where she was introduced to some of the most influential and prominent literary and political figures of the time. Hannah became close friends with the actor David Garrick and his wife Eva, and attended social assemblies with such figures as Dr. Samuel Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Hannah also moved among members of the Bluestocking Circle. While in London, Hannah’s literary career flourished, but after the death of her friend Garrick, she vowed never to write for the stage again, and instead devoted herself to moral and spiritual works. She moved to Cowslip Green, Wrington, Bristol in 1785. Hannah became involved in social reform, including the anti-slavery movement. At the urging of her friend William Wilberforce, Hannah founded several Sunday schools for the poor, though she was initially met with opposition. In 1802, Hannah moved to Barley Wood, a home she had built not far from Cowslip Green. There she and her sisters lived quietly, and Hannah entertained prominent friends and continued her writing. Her most popular work, “Coeleb’s in Search of a Wife,” was published in 1809. Hannah continued pushing for social reform by publishing the Cheap Repository Tracts. These tracts sold for a halfpenny, and were aimed at providing the poor with strong tales of morality. The tracts were extremely popular and widely dispersed. Hannah outlived her sisters and retired to Clifton in 1828. She continued entertaining guests and was always surrounded by friends and visitors. Hannah left her fortune to charity, and was buried in Wrington. Her prolific literary career, her good sense and strong morals, and her dedication to social reform earned her a place among the most notable and influential figures of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

    Processing Information

    This collection was physically arranged by Clark staff and microfilmed by a private company in the early 2000s. The collection was reorganized and this finding aid written by Daniella Aquino, 2012-2013.


    Most of the items in this collection were acquired through two major purchases. In 1996, the Clark purchased the Hannah More collection assembled by collector Roger DuBroff (MS.1996.004). In 1997, the Library purchased an additional collection originally from the collection of Hannah More's literary executor Margaret Roberts (MS.1997.009). Other individual items originated in the following accessions: MS.1999.004, MS.2002.005, MS.2003.005, MS.2005.005, MS.2007.021, MS.2012.017.
    In the container list below, items acquired as a part of the DuBroff collection (MS.1996.004) and the 6 other small accessions have a note indicating their purchase dates. Items that have no such information included were purchased as a part of the 1997 acquisition of items originally owned by Margaret Roberts (MS.1997.009).
    The material acquired in accession MS.1997.009 was used by Margaret Roberts' brother William in his Memoirs of Hannah More (1834). The letters passed to C. Becher Pigot, the great-grandson of William Roberts, and were in turn purchased from him by scholar Mary Gladys Jones in 1953.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Clark Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


    Collection is open for research.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains letters written between Hannah More and a variety of correspondents, in addition to other manuscripts (including notebooks and poems) and visual materials. The collection also contains letters that are not addressed to Hannah More, including three letters from members of the Bluestocking Circle. Among the visual materials are engraved portraits of Hannah More and drawings of her home at Barley Wood.
    Much of the descriptive information for this collection came from: Women, Morality and Advice Literature: Manuscripts and Rare Printed Works of Hannah More (1745-1833) and Her Circle from the Clark Library, Los Angeles , edited by Patricia Demers, Anne Mellor, and Janice Devereux. Marlborough: Adam Matthew Publications, 2005.


    The collection is organized into 3 series:
    • Series 1. Correspondence, 1770-1830
    • Series 2. Other Manuscript Materials and Documentation, 1748-1933
    • Series 3. Visual Materials, 1809-1828

    Related Materials

    Hannah More, Book of Fame, f MS.1996.005, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. This scrapbook once contained autographs and writing samples of famous intellectuals. The individual sheets were removed and sold separately at an early date. Some of the items in this collection, including the poems by David Garrick, were originally arranged in this book, which was acquired as a part of the Roger DuBroff Collection on Hannah More (MS.1996.004).
    Hannah More, Annotated Bible, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. This is Hannah More's personal bible, and is heavily annotated in her hand. She gave the bible to Sir William Weller Pepys, who made his own annotations as well.
    Brampton Park Miscellany, MS.1998.002, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. The commonplace book of Lady Olivia Sparrow includes contributions by Hannah More and others in her circle.
    Printed pamphlets and broadsides of Hannah More's work can be found by searching the Clark's holdings in the UCLA Online Library Catalog.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hannah More Collection, [Box/Folder number], MS.1997.009, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Kennicott, Ann, d. 1831
    Letters--England--18th century
    Letters--England--19th century