- Lady Darcy Maxwell (1724-1810) was born in Brisbane, Scotland, the daughter of Thomas Brisbane. She was educated privately and in Edinburgh. At the age of seventeen, she was married to Sir William Maxwell. Her husband died after just three years, leaving her in possession of a substantial fortune. Maxwell was a member of the Church of Scotland and maintained her membership despite joining the Edinburgh Methodist Society in 1764. One of the few prominent Scottish lay converts, she was a close friend and regular correspondent of John Wesley. She founded a boys school in 1770 and was a generous supporter of Methodist and Church of Scotland causes. In 1786, Maxwell was named executrix to the Lady Glenorchy and was given particular responsibility for maintaining Glenorchy's chapels and other institutions. Source: Annie Keeling, Eminent Methodist Women(1889), Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995).
- Robert Mackie (c.1715-93) was a grocer in Glasgow. He started to attend Methodist preaching in about 1765 having 'lived near fifty years without God and without hope in the world. His life had been very irregular; drunkeness was his besetting sin.'. He was converted under the ministry of the itinerant Thomas Taylor and was soon appointed a class leader, filling that office for nearly thirty years. Mackie also became the principal steward of the Glasgow society and frequently provided hospitality to visiting preachers. After a slow decline, Mackie died on September 16th 1800. Source: Methodist Magazine 1800, 299-302, Wesley Swift, Methodism in Scotland: The First Hundred Years (Epworth Press, 1947), 50-51 and PLP 5/6.46
From Edinburgh to 'My dear and much esteemed friends' [members of the Sheffield society]. Despite the fact that Bardsley has taken his time in writing this letter, his friends have often been in his thoughts.
Since he saw them, he has been in reasonably good health and his soul has often received comfort from above.
They have good congregations here and the people are very kind, but he fears that the Lord's work only goes on slowly. Some of the 'rich and great smile upon us here'. Lady [Darcy] Maxwell is a very kind friend to the Methodists and is, Bardsley believes, much devoted to God. He has told her about his dear Sheffield friends and says that she would like to see them.
They have a person here under sentence of death for forgery. Bardsley has visited him and he has some concern for his soul. He is to hang on January 8th - his corresponents should pray for him.
Bardsley was pleased to hear from dear [Thomas] Woodcroft that his correspondents both attend their class meetings. He would not repent his long journey to England even if it was only to visit his Sheffield friends. His correspondents should be 'dligent in the means of grace' [ie Holy Communion] and should pray much with each other.
His regards should be passed to [Thomas] Woodcroft and his wife, [Samuel] Birks and his wife, Mr and Mrs Heald, Mr and Mrs Cissell, Mrs Jeeve, Mrs Brammah, Mr and Mrs [James] Walker, Brother Wyld and his wife, Brother Hinchcliffe and his wife, Samuel Roberts and all his dear friends. Bardsley asks that his correspondents should write to him soon and tell him soon how they both are.
In a postscript, he asks that his love be passed to Mrs Winter. Mr Woodcroft should be told that his letter did Bardsley much good.
Letters should be sent to Mr [Robert] Mackie , grocer of Glasgow, as he expects to be there in about two weeks. If his correspondents see Brother and Mrs Wilburn, his love should be passed to them and to Sister [Jane] Green. His love should also be passed to Betty, Rose and everyone of their dear friends in Rotherham.