- William Green (d.1777) was a schoolmaster, originally of Thorpe in Yorkshire. In the early 1740s he moved to establish a school in Rotherham and was one of the Methodist pioneers in the town. His house was used as the first place of worship for the town's infant society while as a local preacher, he did much to introduce Methodism into the surrounding villages despite intense persecution. Green was also involved with bookselling and was responsible for distributing large amounts of Methodist literature. Green's first wife (also a Methodist) died in the late 1740s and to avoid the possibility of scandal, he refused to allow women to enter his house for several years after. This caused the society that met there some inconvenience and it was upon the advice of his fellow Methodists that he remarried in 1749. His second wife was Jane Holmes of Sheffield, a devout Methodist who had previously resolved never to marry. It was only with great reluctance and after seeking the advice of her mother and the people in her band, that she agreed to Green's proposal, which had come as a complete and by no means welcome surprise. The couple entertained both Wesley brothers during their visits to the town and were instrumental in the erection of the first purpose-built chapel in Rotherham, well-known for its octagonal shape. It opened for worship in 1761. Green died on May 20 1777. John Wesley visited Rotherham on June 16th and noted in his journal that the society did not seem discouraged 'by the death of that good man, William Green, who had been as a father to them from the beginning'. Green had eight children, four by each of his two wives. Source: Samuel J. Russell, Historical Notes of Wesleyan Methodism in Rotherham Circuit (1910), pp.8-31 and A Biographical Dictionary of 18th century Methodism by Samuel Rogal (Edwin Mellen Press 1997)
From Sheffield to William Goodrich junior in Cross Street, Leicester. [Part of the Derbyshire circuit where Bardsley was stationed in 1772.] Bardsley is ashamed when he reflects on how long it has been since he wrote.
God be praised that he has cast Bardsley's lot among a 'loving, prosperous people, a circuit where we have much work'. They have had an agreeable year and the Lord has increased the number of his faithful followers. They have commenced preaching in several new places and have more work than they can easily cope with.
Bardsley remains in a reasonable state of health. God has given him favour in the sight of the people and blessed his work. He was recently with his good friend Mr [Samuel] Woodcock who was well and still desirous of being useful to his fellow creatures.
How is Goodrich's family? He should let Bardsley know in his next letter. His dear love should also be passed to dear Betsy together with a plea for her forgiveness for him not answering her last. If she favours him with another, he will certainly reply. Likewise, his love should be passed to Miss Molly, Anna and all Goodrich's brothers and sisters, his aunt and father, Mr and Mrs Kestins, Mr Durins, Mr and Mrs Heaford, Brother Berridge and his wife, Mrs Hurst and her son and daughter at Humberston, Brother Whittle (Bardsley wrote to him some time ago but has not received a reply), Billy Smith (with the hope that he continues in the good way) and to all the rest of his friends in Leicester whose names he cannot recall.
Spiritual matters are discussed in detail. Bardsley trusts that Goodrich is a diligent attender at communion and that he continues to visit the sick.
His love should also be given to old Zachary and Jane.
Goodrich can write to Bardsley at Mr [William] Green's school in Rotherham. He leaves Rotherham on July 25th.