- James Walker (fl.1757-1780) was a baker and confectioner of Sheffield, Yorkshire. He was an early convert to Methodism and was one of the original trustees of the town's first Wesleyan Chapel in Mulberry Street and later (1779) of the new chapel in Norfolk Street. He also served as a class leader for many years and provided hospitality for itinerant preachers. Walker's recorded address changed several times. He appears to have commenced his business in Pepper Alley, but then moved to the High Street. Source: Papers of Samuel Bardsley (PLP 5/-) and History of Norfolk Street Wesleyan Chapel and Wesleyan Methodism in Sheffield by Revd. T. Alexander Seed (Sheffield Wesleyan Mission, 1907), 26-27
From Derby [Bardsley was stationed in Derby between 1772 and 1773] to William Severn [stationed in the Sheffield circuit between 1772 and 1773 - his first appointment] at the house of James Walker, baker of Sheffield. May Severn be strong in the Lord. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail. He received Severn's letter - he had been wondering whether or not Severn was going to write to him. However, blessed be God, Bardsley can now forgive what is past. He is pleased that Severn is in good health and that he has some reason to believe that his soul prospers. 'I trust God will make you more serious: Oh how necessary, how amiable is it; in a preacher of the gospel!'.
He was pleased that the Lord is making Severn an instrument for good. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.
Bardsley is doing well in this circuit so far. He finds that he still loves the people and is well-liked by them. He thinks that it was a miracle that 'none of you was killed'. He trusts that they are suitably thankful.
With regard to their 'changing' [changing places in their respective circuits for a brief visit] , Bardsley does not think that it will be possible until after the quarter day; his next turn at Nottingham after that will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday (January 30 - February 1) 'and so six weeks after that, at which time, if it be convenient for you, I shall be glad to change that I may see my dr [dear] Sheffield friends'. He knows that the people at Nottingham will be pleased to see Severn. 'They tell me that your father says "When Bill comes, he will go to hear him".'. If they change they must take care to ensure that no places are neglected while they are travelling between the two circuits.
Bardsley was lately at [Castle] Donnington, in company with Severn's aunt from London. She seems to be very 'zealous' [religious]. She and Severn's cousin send their love, as does Miss Hicken, Old Thomas, Mrs Iron and all the families at Tong. Severn should write to Bardsley at Loughborough and let him know what he thinks about the change. How long is Severn thinking of? He hopes to be at Loughborough the 26th inst.
In a postscript, he mentions that their quarter day is the 31st inst., when is Severn's?