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The Political House that Jack Built (1819) — [on Romantic Circles]
The Every-Day Book (1825-26)

Letters and Documents, 1832-1842

The last decade of Hone's life was--with one noteworthy exception--marked by a retreat from public life, a religious conversion, and periods of ill health brought on by a series of strokes that often left him unable to stir out of the house and sometimes unable to write. Hone's tenure as the proprietor of a coffeehouse, "The Grasshopper," proved temporary as he shut up the shop in 1833, after about three years in the business. At the end of 1833, Hone and many members of his family became full-fledged members in the congregation of the Reverend Thomas Binney's Weigh House Chapel, and this association led to a number of letters between Hone and Binney as well as to Hone's draft autobiography (written at Binney's request) and his frequently reprinted lyric entitled "Written before Breakfast, 3rd June 1834." During the mid- to late-1830s, Hone also secured work as a sub-editor of a dissenting newspaper called The Patriot. Hone was in this position during the Church Rates controversy in which his friend and fellow printer John Childs took a prominent public role. In effect, Childs would send materials favorable to the radical dissenters' cause to Hone who would in turn publish them in The Patriot. Hone himself remained in the background--even during Childs's imprisonment for failure to pay his church rates--but thanks to the Hone/Childs association, The Patriot became a prominent national mouthpiece for the dissenters during this tense episode of ecclesiastical politics. By 1839 Hone was unable to maintain his work as writer and editor, and he moved with his wife to "a little tot of a house" (as he put it in a letter to his daughter Alice on 30 November, 1840) near Bruce's Castle in north London. He died two years later (November 1842) and was buried in Abney Park cemetary where his funeral was attended by such figures as George Cruikshank and Charles Dickens.