- Jabez Bunting (1779-1858) was born in Manchester. His family were devout Methodists and despite their poor circumstances managed to give their son a good education. While studying for a career in medicine, Bunting felt the call to offer himself for the Wesleyan ministry. He was accepted in 1799 and within a few years revealed himself to be a minister of exceptional ability. Bunting served four terms as President of Conference, held office as the secretary of the Conference from 1814 to 1819 and again from 1824 to 1827. He was also Connexional Editor from 1821 to 1824 and played a leading role in the establishment of the Wesleyan Missionary Society. He was the main advocate for the setting up of the Theological Institution in 1834 for the training of ministers. Bunting was without doubt the dominant figure in the Methodist Church of his day. His outstanding talent for leadership and organisational ability placed the Church on a more efficient footing and provided the framework for continued expansion. His authoritarian style was however very controversial and resulted in several divisions and expulsions most notably those associated with the Wesleyan Reform Movement of the 1840s. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).
- John Lancaster (1781-1829) entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1803. He exercised an active Circuit ministry until his death which occurred at Dudley in the midlands after a short illness. Source: Methodist Magazine 1830, pp.71,641.
- Joseph Sutcliffe (1762-1856) was born at Baildon in Yorkshire. He was converted under Methodist influence at an early age and entered the itinerancy in 1786. He exercised an active Circuit ministry for fifty years before retiring as a supernumary to London where he died at the age of ninety-four after a short illness. Sutcliffe was a scholar of some repute who published many pamphlets, sermons and a bible commentary. He was also the author of an unpublished four volume history of Methodism to the death of Thomas Coke. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Methodist Magazine 1856, pp.851-852.
- Joseph Entwisle (1767-1841) was born in Manchester and entered the itinerancy in 1787. He was responsible in 1802 for the introduction of stricter regulations for the testing of ministerial candidates and in 1804 became the secretary of the first Wesleyan Missionary Committee. Entwisle served as President of Conference in 1812 and 1825 and as the first house governor of the Theological Institution between 1834 and 1838. He died at Tadcaster in Yorkshire, three years after retirement. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).
From 18 Park Street, Cheltenham, to Jabez Bunting in Irwell Street, Salford near Manchester. He hopes that Bunting will excuse the liberty that J R has taken in writing, but as J R is on the 'President's list of Reserve' to be resident in the Salford Circuit, he felt it prudent to acquaint Bunting with his situation.
A gentleman who is visiting Cheltenham has kindly offered to provide J R with £5 per quarter so that he can assist the Cheltenham preachers and in particular to 'break up fresh ground in the neighbourhood'. This arrangement would last until the President calls for him. Would J R be wrong to accept the money or to act as a kind of local preacher before being sent for by the President?.
He would also value Bunting's opinion on the following circumstance. On Sunday the 21st inst, he went to Bath to supply the place of [John] Lancaster, who had come to Cheltenham to preach missionary sermons. In Bath, J R saw [Joseph] Sutcliffe who told him that it was probable that they may wish his assistance there. Would it be appropriate for him to answer such a call without the order of the President? While travelling back from Bath, he saw [Joseph] Entwisle in Bristol and was advised by him to seek Bunting's guidance as J R's superintendent minister. He also feels that he should mention that he gave up a lucrative position to go to Stockport, and as he was unable to find a job there, is consequently dependent upon his own resources which is very unpleasant. He is therefore very anxious to find something.