- Hester Ann Roe (1756-94) was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, the daughter of Revd. James Roe, the Anglican incumbent of St Michael's Church. She was converted at the age of eighteen under the influence of the evangelical clergyman David Simpson. Hester began to attend Methodist meetings despite the opposition of family and friends. She became a regular correspondent of John Wesley and was appointed a class leader in 1781. Hester married the Wesleyan itinerant James Rogers in 1784 and the couple left for Dublin shortly afterwards. She collaborated in her husband's ministry to such an extent that he claimed two thousand were converted under her influence. Hester's health had begun to fail by 1790 and the couple moved to London where she was appointed John Wesley's housekeeper at City Road. She was in attendance when the Methodist leader died the following year. Hester gave birth to her fifth child in April 1793 and never regained her strength. She died in Birmingham eighteen months later. Besides keeping a journal from the time of her conversion, Hester engaged in extensive correspondence and was a regular contributor to the Arminian Magazine Her autobiography, funeral sermon by Dr Thomas Coke, selected letters and extracts from her diary, were combined into one volume and went through extensive reprints on both sides of the Atlantic until early in the 20th century. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)
- John Murlin (1722-99) was born in St Stephen near Brannel in Cornwall, the son of a farmer. After serving an apprenticeship as a carpenter, Murlin was converted in 1749 by the Wesleyan preacher John Downes. He began to preach locally and in 1754 left his prosperous business to enter the itinerancy. His circuit ministry was exercised in England and Ireland. Murlin was one of the itinerants at the centre of the Norwich sacramental dispute in 1760. An exceptionally gifted preacher, Murlin's emotional style earned him the nickname 'The weeping prophet'. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
From Macclesfield to 'Jere' [his brother Jeremiah] Bardsley in Tib Lane, Manchester. Bardsley heard that Jeremiah had been at Oldham and took it for granted that he arrived home safely from there. He hopes that his brother is well and happy in his soul. Spiritual matters are discussed.
Bardsley has been able to visit all his [preaching] places except one which was inaccessible because of the snow - it was so deep that his horse was unable to pass.
He has been much pained of late because of the afflictions that have struck their family.
Soon after Jeremiah left them, dear Mrs [Martha] Rogers [the former Martha Knowlden, wife of Bardsley's colleague James Rogers] was taken very bad with consumption. She has been confined to her bed for some time and her death is expected any day. She is very happy in her soul and it would do Jeremiah good to see her Bardsley is sleeping at Joseph Roe's house where he is treated very kindly. Miss [Hester Ann?] Roe is in constant attendance on Mrs Rogers.
He was sorry to hear that [John] Murlin was ill - Jeremiah should send word about his condition.
In a postscript, he asks that letters be sent to the house of William Barnes, the saddler in Chapel-en-le-frith he hopes to be there next Sunday but one.
They buried Mr [James] Rogers's youngest child last Tuesday.
His dear love should be given to Mr and Mrs Rogerson and their daughter and also to Mr Neal.