Hannah More image
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Born in 1745 / Died in 1833 / United Kingdom / English


A British playwright, abolitionist, and philanthropist, More was born near Bristol. Her father, a headmaster, trained More and her sisters to be teachers. Hannah More’s father and older sisters founded a school when the girls were in their teens, and More taught there as a young woman. Her play The Inflexible Captive was staged in 1774; it was followed by Percy: a Tragedy (1777), and Fatal Falsehood (1779). In the 1770s and 1780s More frequented London, where she socialized with the Blue Stockings Society and became acquainted with Edmund Burke, Samuel Johnson, Elizabeth Montagu, and Sir Joshua Reynolds.
In the 1790s More became involved with a group of evangelical Christians known as the Clapham Sect, which opposed slavery. She began writing and editing religious tracts—collections of ballads, moral stories, and readings. She composed “Slavery, a Poem” (1788) when William Wilberforce, an English politician and member of the Clapham Sect, was campaigning for abolition in Parliament.
One of the leading philanthropists of her day, More was an active campaigner for education for the poor. Together with her sister Martha, she established more than a dozen Sunday schools. She died in 1833.