James Hutton Letters

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 1276
  • Dates of Creation
      August 1774-December 1784
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English
  • Physical Description
      various sizes. 14 items;

Scope and Content

Original letters from James Hutton to his good, dear friend Miss Cooper in the West Country (mostly at Bath) and in London. Two (numbers 3 and 4, 30 November and 5 December 1778) were written on the death of his wife Louise. The letters were contained in a folder endorsed in an 18th-century hand: Letters lent me by Mrs De Luc from Mr Hutton, a remarkable character, a Moravian. The letters contain references to the Swiss geologist and meterologist Jean Deluc (1727-1817) who was Reader to Queen Charlotte, consort of George III. See note in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 41 (1958), pp. 11-12.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Hutton (1715-1795), Moravian minister and bookseller, was born on 3 September 1715 in Westminster. In 1736 he opened a bookshop at the Bible and Sun in Little Wild Street, London. He was one of the nine founding members of the Moravian-style band established by Peter Böhler in 1738. This quickly grew into the Fetter Lane Society, which became the headquarters of the English evangelical revival, with Hutton its pivotal figure. Until 1749, when he was ordained deacon on 19 September, he remained a bookseller, publishing the Moravians' English publications. In 1752 he was appointed secretary of the Unity (Moravian church). In 1765-6 Hutton revived the Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel, of which he had been a founder member in 1741, and was chairman when he died. His Letter to a Friend (1769) described its history and work supporting Moravian missions. He died on 3 May 1795 and was buried in the Moravian burial-ground in Chelsea on 11 May.

Source: C.J. Podmore, 'Hutton, James (1715-1795)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/14303.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the John Rylands Library at auction at Hodgson's, 19 June 1958, lot 261.