Letter from T[homas] Coke, 'At Sea, 8 degrees & a half of Latitude, South', to [Wesleyan Methodist] Conference via Revd Jabez Bunting, Leeds, Yorkshire

Scope and Content

Explains to Bunting that the following letter may be read at [Wesleyan Methodist] Conference and that this letter comes via St Helena (as well as copies to the President & the Missionary Committee). Asks if copies can be sent to other colleagues and sends regards to colleagues and friends.

Letter to Conference begins by request to obtain licence for Continental India. According to the new charter must first apply to Court of Directors [of the East India Company] and will be supported by Charles Grant, an influential member of the Court. Expects success but if not then should next apply to 'Board of Controul', where Lord Teignmouth [John Shore] will be supportive. Other support can be sought from Mr Wilberforce and the Earl of Liverpool [Charles Jenkinson]. Once the licence is obtained it should be sent on the first ship sailing for Calcutta [Kolkata, India] and be addressed to Rev Thomas Thomason, chaplain to the East India Company, and George Udney (a friend of Dr Buchanan). Asks for two missionaries for Continental India and offers to assist with funding. Suggests Brother [John] Slater of the Redruth Circuit and Solomon Whitworth of the Scilly Isles. Knows that the Government wishes that we do much in India in a discreet way and that these two preachers must be licenced to do so. They should meet him in Calcutta [Kolkata, India]. Hopes to visit Maldai [Malda, India] and Rajamaughl. These areas were recommended to Coke by Charles Grant, in 1794 or 1795, as the most likely to be successful for the establishment of missions. Correspondence for this appears in the [?Arminian] Magazine at that time and Grant confirmed his view again recently, particularly regarding Rajamaughl.

Conditions Governing Access



Some of the text of this letter is missing due to its damaged state

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Copyright held by Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes


A partial transcript apppears on page 717 of 'The letters of Dr. Thomas Coke' edited by John A. Vickers (2013).