Hannah More Chronology

1745        born 2 February at Fishponds, Stapleton, Gloucestershire, the fourth of the five daughters of Jacob More a schoolmaster, and Mary (Grace) More, a farmer's daughter.

1758        her eldest sister Mary More opens a girls' boarding school in Trinity Street, Bristol.

c. 1762     the More sisters move their school to larger premises in Park Street, Bristol.

c. 1767     More visits the estate of William Turner at Belmont, Somerset; later accepts his proposal of marriage.

1773        engagement to Turner finally broken off; accepts an annuity of £200 p.a.; The Search After Happiness published by Bristol printer, Sarah Farley.

1774        goes to London; on her second visit, meets David Garrick, Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, and Elizabeth Montagu; supports Burke’s election campaign in Bristol; Thomas Cadell publishes The Inflexible Captive and becomes her main publisher.

1775       The Inflexible Captive performed at the Theatre Royal, Bath.

1776        becomes the Garricks’ permanent house guest at the Adelphi (London) and Hampton (Middlesex); witnesses Garrick’s farewell performances at the Drury Lane Theatre; publishes Sir Eldred of the Bower and the Bleeding Rock.

1777        publishes Essays on Various Subjects, her first conduct-book, dedicated to the bluestocking, Elizabeth Montagu.

1777-8        Percy performed at the Covent Garden theatre.

1778        Richard Samuel RA paints her as one of the "Nine Living Muses of Great Britain".

1779        death of Garrick; becomes Eva Garrick’s companion; after the failure of The Fatal Falsehood abandons writing for the stage.

1780        begins friendship with Horace Walpole.

1782        publishes Sacred Dramas and Sensibility: A Poem.

1783        death of Jacob More; writes The Bas Bleu: or, Conversation, a celebration of bluestocking culture, which initially circulates in manuscript.

1784        begins to correspond with Horace Walpole [see volume 31 of the Yale Edition of the Correspondence of Horace Walpole (1961); befriends Ann Yearsley, the "Bristol Milkwoman".

1785        buys Cowslip Green in Somerset; quarrels with Ann Yearsley over a deed of trust.

1786        death of Mary More (mother); at Teston, Kent becomes involved in the movement to abolish the slave trade; publishes Florio, a poem in praise or rural life, and The Bas Bleu [see 1783].

1787        meets the former slave-trader, John Newton, and the abolitionists, William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson.

1788        publishes Slavery: A Poem and Thoughts on the Importance of the Manners of the Great to General Society.

1789        Horace Walpole publishes her poem, Bishop Bonner’s Ghost on the Strawberry Hill Press; French Revolution begins; Hannah and Patty More found the first of the Mendip Schools at Cheddar, Somerset; other schools follow at Shipham, Rowberrow, Nailsea, Blagdon and Wedmore (also smaller schools).

1790        the More sisters hand over the Park Street school to Selina Mills (later the mother of Thomas Babington Macaulay).

1791        publishes An Estimate of the Religion of the Fashionable World.

1792        founds women’s benefit clubs at Cheddar and Shipham.

1793        in response to Paine's Rights of Man publishes Village Politics; France and Britain at war; More publishes Remarks on the Speech of M. Dupont in aid of the French emigrant clergy.

1795-8     edits the Cheap Repository Tracts, a series of moralist publications based on popular chapbooks and ballads.

1799       publishes her most important conduct-book, Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education; Selina Mills marries the abolitionist, Zachary Macaulay. [Their son, Thomas Babington Macaulay, born 1800.]

1799-1802        the "Blagdon controversy"; one of More's teachers is accused of Methodism; the accusation widens into a series of attacks on More for alleged religious and political subversion; as a result she suffers depression and nervous collapse and for a while is unable to write.

1801        builds Barley Wood, her new Somerset home.

1803        publishes patriotic ballads to stiffen the national sinews during fears of a French invasion.

1804        "The White Slave Trade", an attack on the frivolity of the fashionable world, published anonymously in the Evangelical journal, the Christian Observer.

1805        publishes anonymously Hints towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess for Princess Charlotte, the heiress presumptive to the throne.

1808        publishes anonymously her only novel, Coelebs in Search of a Wife; it rapidly becomes a best-seller.

1811        publishes Practical Piety.

1813        death of Mary More (sister); supports the campaign, launched by Wilberforce, to send Anglican missionaries to India; founds an auxiliary Bible Society at Wrington; publishes Christian Morals.

1814        Samuel Taylor Coleridge visits Barley Wood.

1815        battle of Waterloo; More publishes Essay on the Character and Writings of St Paul.

1816        death of Betty More (sister).

1817        writes new loyalist tracts to counter resurgent radicalism; death of Sally More (sister); the death of Princess Charlotte creates a succession crisis in Britain.

1819        birth of Princess Victoria; death of Patty More, her favourite sister; loyalist tracts published as Cheap Repository Tracts Suited to the Present Times; publishes Moral Sketches, and an abolitionist poem, The Twelfth of August, or The Feast of Freedom; Peterloo massacre.

1820        the "Queen Caroline affair"; More bitterly hostile to Caroline, whom she views as an immoral woman.

1821        publishes Bible Rhymes in an attempt to counter religious skepticism.

1825        publishes The Spirit of Prayer.

1828        leaves Barley Wood when told that her servants have been cheating her; settles at Clifton, Bristol.

1832        first Reform Act passed; More disinherits Thomas Babington Macaulay for voting for the bill.

1833        death of William Wilberforce; More dies at Clifton; buried at Wrington, Somerset, near Barley Wood.


Victorian Web Hannah More Biography

Last modified 28 October 2002