- Thomas Tripp (1744-1809) was born into a poor family in Lowestoft, Suffolk. His parents were devout Anglicans and Tripp was to retain a strong affection for the Church of England throughout his life. As a young boy, he was apprenticed to a cooper and after the premature death of his father, Tripp worked to support his mother and sister. He was a regular attender at Anglican worship and 'a sincere enquirer after truth'. Tripp was persuaded by a friend, against his own better judgement, to attend Methodist worship in Yarmouth and he was converted soon after, by the preaching of the itinerant John Pawson. He went on to pioneer the cause of Methodism in Lowestoft, often in the face of severe persecution. Tripp married Mrs Ibrook, the comfortably-off widow of a grocer and fish merchant. She had also been a Methodist from the early days of the movement and had often provided hospitality for the first preachers to labour in Lowestoft. In the intervals between visits by itinerants, Tripp often filled the gap by reading John Wesley's sermons to the assembled society and leading them in prayer. Tripp was one of the chief promoters of the first Methodist chapel in Lowestoft, opened by John Wesley and John Fletcher in 1776. When it became necessary to enlarge the building, Tripp and his wife contributed the considerable sum of£100. He served for many years as class leader, society steward and circuit steward and was regarded as one of the founding fathers of Methodism in the town. A generous giver to worthy causes, it is estimated that he gave away £1,700 during the last twenty years of his life. Tripp suffered from very poor health for a long time before he finally passed away on March 29 1809. According to a non-Methodist account, such was the general esteem in which he was held that his funeral cortege was followed by three quarters of the population of Lowestoft. Source: Arminian Magazine 1811, 281, 363 and 552
- Mrs Tripp (1720-96) was born in Bedfield, Suffolk. Her family background and even her maiden and Christian names are not recorded in Methodist sources. At the age of twenty-one she moved to Mendham where she became housekeeper to a Mr Shepherd. She was converted in 1745 by the preaching of the baptist minister Mr Simmonds. A short time later, she moved on to Lowestoft to become the housekeeper to a grocer and fish merchant by the name of Ibrooke. They were married seven years later and had two children. After they had been married for ten years, her husband died. John Wesley preached in Lowestoft in October 1764 and he was followed into the area a short time later by the itinerants John Pawson and Daniel Bumstead. Despite severe persecution, the widow Ibrooke was the first to offer hospitality to the preachers. In 1766 she married fellow Methodist Thomas Tripp, twenty-two years her junior. Her obituary describes her as possessing 'a meek and quiet spirit, easy and resigned to the will of God in all things.the sweetness of her temper, her obliging disposition, and eminent piety, secured the affection of all who knew her'. She died on January 19 1796 following a short illness. Source: Arminian Magazine 1799, 224-226
- James Wood (1751-1840) entered the itinerancy in 1773. He exercised an active circuit ministry for fifty years and was twice President of the Wesleyan Conference (1800 and 1808). He settled as a supernumary in Bristol and at the time of his death at Kingswood was the oldest Methodist preacher in the world. Source: Methodist Magazine 1840, pp.622-623
- John Moon (d.1801) was converted at the age of fourteen and entered the itinerancy in 1774. His active circuit ministry lasted until superannuation in 1799 to Bristol where he died after a long period of ill health. Source: Kenneth Garlick, An Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Preachers and Missionaries, and the stations to which they were appointed 1739-1818 and Minutes of Conference 1801
- Jonathan Cousins (1757-1805) was born in Reading, Berkshire. In his youth he was strongly anti-Methodist but was converted in 1776 after starting to attend Methodist meetings in Cheltenham. He laboured as a local preacher until his acceptance into the itinerancy in 1780. In 1782 he married the female Methodist Penelope Newman, a regular correspondent of John Wesley. Coussins was appointed to the Legal Hundred in 1784. His active ministry lasted for the rest of his life which was ended on 31 October 1805 while he was stationed in the Diss circuit through an attack of palsy. Source: Minutes of Conference 1806and Kenneth Garlick, The Spreading Flame: The coming of Methodism to Norfolk by Cyril Jolly (Dereham, c.1970), 55, and An Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Preachers and Missionaries, and the stations to which they were appointed 1739-1818
- Thomas (fl.1780) and Mary Mallet (d.1782) were prominent Methodists of the Lowestoft society in Suffolk. Mary died at a young age, leaving at least one child, Mary, who was two years old and who was herself to achieve prominence in local Methodism before her premature death at the age of twenty-four. Little else survives in Methodist sources about the Mary's parents, although Thomas must have been comfortably off as he could afford to educate his daughter at a boarding school. Source: Methodist Magazine 1806, 199
From Norwich to [Thomas] Tripp in Lowestoft. May the Lord bless Tripp and his dear wife.
The preachers who have been appointed [by the conference of 1780] to this [Norwich] circuit are [James] Wood , [John] Moon and a young man named [Jonathan] Cousins. [George] Shadford has been appointed to Grimsby, [John] Acutt goes to Oxfordshire and Bardsley to Sheffield.[Joseph] Pilmore has been appointed to Ireland [Assistant in the Dublin circuit] and [William] Tunney to Wiltshire.
All being well, Wood will arrive in his circuit tomorrow week. Bardsley intends to leave tomorrow.
His dear love should be given to Tripp's wife and to Hannah and all in his family, and to [Thomas and Mary] Mallet , Mr and Mrs Smith and all his other friends.