- Thomas Mitchell (1726-84) was born at Bingley in Yorkshire. He was apprenticed for several years to a mason but enlisted in the army in 1745 for the duration of the Jacobite uprising. After his discharge, he started to attend Methodist meetings and came under the particular influence of William Grimshaw and John Nelson. Finally converted by Charles Wesley, Mitchell entered the itinerancy in 1748 and laboured chiefly in Yorkshire and Lancashire, enduring some persecution. He accompanied John Wesley from Newcastle to York in 1753 and remained in the itinerancy until his death at Keighley. Mitchell was described as a man who compensated with zeal and piety for meagre preaching ability. He had a particular gift for outreach among the poor and this gave rise to his being christened the "Poor man's preacher". He was also an outspoken advocate of the right of women to preach. Mitchell's wife Sarah was from Norwich. The two married in 1760. Source: Wesley's Veterans - Lives of Early Methodist Preachers told by themselves, with annotations and additions by John Telford, 175-196 (n.d.), Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974), Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995) and information provided by John Lenton.
- Robert Costerdine (1726-1812) was born in Flixton near Manchester. He heard John Nelson preach as a young man and was converted by George Whitefield in 1748. He acted for some years as a local preacher and entered the itinerancy in 1764. His active ministry lasted for twenty-nine years and was exercised entirely in the North of England and the Midlands. After superannuation he settled in Manchester and he continued to preach until a short time before his death. Source: Minutes of Conference 1812 and Kenneth Garlick, An Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Preachers and Missionaries, and the stations to which they were appointed 1739-1818
- George Cussons (1734-1817) was born in Ampleforth, Yorkshire. Orphaned at the age of thirteen, he was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker. At the age of twenty he moved to York and lodged with a Methodist family - his first introduction to the movement. In 1760 Cussons moved on to Scarborough where he was converted and joined the society. He married Hannah Flintoft in 1763 and in 1774 the couple moved to London where he was introduced to several prominent lay Methodists, one of whom, Mr Thornton, loaned him sufficient money to establish his own business in Oxford Street. Cussons and his wife were devoted members of the London society throughout the rest of their lives. They attended worship in West Street and Great Queen Street and he was the leader of two classes. He was one of the joint founders of the Naval and Military Bible Society and a chief promoter of the Strangers' Friend Society, acting as sub-treasurer of the West London district for nearly twenty years. Cussons was a long serving trustee of Great Queen Street Chapel and in 1814 was appointed to the same position at City Road Chapel. Cussons was described by Stevenson as 'a model of punctuality in his business.His habits were methodical, his manners modest; in dress he was a model of plainness and neatness. In person he was above the middle size, and in youth was athletic and active. His countenance beamed with suavity and kindness..'. He is buried with his wife in the City Road burial ground. Source: George John Stevenson, City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Memorial (1872), p.448-449.
- Hannah Cussons (1736-1803) was born Hannah Flintoft in Snailsworth, Yorkshire. Her parents were devout and Hannah was converted at an early age. In 1763 she married fellow Methodist George Cussons of Scarborough and eleven years later, the couple moved to London where they established a small cabinetmaking business in Oxford Street. Hannah was a devoted member of the West Street and Great Queen Street society for nearly thirty years - her husband served as a trustee. She died in Easter week 1803 after an illness of just a few days and is buried in the City Road burial ground. Stevenson described her as having honoured God 'by a meek pure walk, rather than by a lofty pretension'. Source: George John Stevenson, City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Memorial (1872), p.448
From Loddon to [Thomas] Mitchell at the Methodist chapel in Wednesbury. Mitchell's kind letter arrived safely. It was good to read that the Lord's work continues to prosper in Staffordshire. They are doing well in Norwich as well - the congregations are large and the membership of the society has increased. Peace reigns within the societies themselves. A good work is underway in several of the country places including several new locations. A good number have been awakened and converted since the [present] itinerants arrived here 'which has been a means of strengthening our hands and of enabling us to face the storms and tempests which have been very frequent the last winter in these parts and I make no doubt but you have known something of them in Staffordshire'. He was glad to hear that Mitchell's wife [Sarah] [Information provided by John Lenton.] was in good health but was sorry to read that Mitchell himself was lame. Bardsley trusts that his friend will take care of himself until he is well again. It was also good to hear that their dear sons are well - Bardsley does pray for them especially his little god-son. 'I rejoyce that you find your trials sanctified unto you'.
Bardsley called upon Mr and Mrs Wade and found them and their family well - they send their love. They also said that [Sarah] Mitchell's letters were received and answered and that they were surprised to find that they had miscarried. They also say that they expect to see [Sarah] in Norwich this spring and that they would be pleased if she were to find it convenient to come.
Mitchell's old friend Sister Dye departed [died] in peace about a year ago.
Bardsley's love should be given to [Robert] Costerdine [stationed in the Staffordshire circuit] - hopefully he is much better.
He was glad to hear of the new preaching house in Sheffield being 'in such forwardness' [Norfolk Street chapel] .
Bardsley was pleased to hear that Mr Stephenson had called upon Mitchell - may the Lord bless his work. His regards should be passed to Stephenson and his wife.
Bardsley had a letter from his dear brother [Jeremiah] lately - thank God that he is 'kept in the narrow way'. He sent word that the Manchester Methodists are likely to get a new preaching house . [Manchester's Oldham Street chapel opened in 1781.] .
Bardsley's love should be passed to Mitchell's wife and his blessing to their children. His love should also be passed to their friend the 'shoemaker' and his wife at Dudley where the preachers are lodged.
Copy letter from Thurlton to George Cussons at West Street Chapel, Seven Dials, London.
Bardsley's health is good, both physically and spiritually.
Thank God, they have not labored in vain in these parts [Norwich circuit]. They have had an increase in membership of the societies and a good number have been awakened and converted. They have also started preaching in some new places.
Cussons should be so kind as to write and let him know how he and his dear wife [Hannah ] are doing. How is the Lord's work doing at West Street. His love should also be given to Sister Emmery
Letters should be sent to [John] Wesley's chapel in Norwich.
In a postscript, he asks that his love be passed to Mrs Gaskell.