Letter

Scope and Content

Note

  • Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary, introduced a Bill before the House of Lords in May 1811 amending the Toleration Act with regard to Protestant Dissenting Ministers. The Bill would have severely restricted the activities of itinerant preachers, and was finally dropped in the face of opposition, that was largely organised by the Methodist Church.

From Bloomsbury, London, to Revd. George Marsden in Bolton, Lancashire, re Clarke's concern about the Bill, which will shortly go before parliament. He feels that the "Bp of L" (Bishop of Lincoln) is behind this move against non-conformity, and he complains that Methodists are not careful enough to avoid offending influential people.

If a persecution does begin, then Clarke will use the contacts that he has made with members of parliament through his work on the Public Records. For this reason he has avoided alienating them by pressing too hard to be released from his commitments, which are proving increasingly burdensome. He has also refused payment from the Commission in his wish to impress them.

Clarke describes in detail his recent work for the Commission on Monastic records, and "state papers of a most curious and delicate complexion". He has also unmasked as a forgery the letter of Vetus de Monte re King Richard I of England, and his work is receiving high praise.

The Bishop of Lincoln is one of the Commissioners, as is Sir William Grant, who recently sat in judgement in the Brighouse Chapel case, brought by the Wesleyans against the Methodist New Connexion.

Clarke asks that the contents of the letter be kept secret.

Note

Note

  • Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary, introduced a Bill before the House of Lords in May 1811 amending the Toleration Act with regard to Protestant Dissenting Ministers. The Bill would have severely restricted the activities of itinerant preachers, and was finally dropped in the face of opposition, that was largely organised by the Methodist Church.