From Rebecca Longmore in Oswestry to Mary Tooth. She thought that she would write a few lines via [her daughter] Sarah [Sarah Longmore was baptised at Madeley on June 26th 1813 ] who is visiting Coalbrookdale, but she was greatly hurried over them and when she heard that Miss Bicket was passing through Madeley on her way back to Liverpool, she decided to give this letter to her instead.
Longmore has spent some time with Bicket and found that she does not know Tooth personally, but has a great wish to see Madeley. She has the care of several classes in Liverpool and from the little that Longmore has heard about her, she is eminently pious. She is making her home at the house of Mr [Jonas?] Jones, where [John] Wheelhouse is also staying. She came from Liverpool with Miss Jones.
The Sunday afternoon class increases in number, ‘but it would be strange if it went on well, when the person fixt upon to meet them [the class leader] cannot visit them in the week and is quite unqualified for meeting them on Sunday’ [Longmore herself is the class leader referred to].
Longmore continues to be greatly troubled with her dear [daughter] Rebecca – she is so nervous and full of anxiety. Some weeks ago, Longmore hoped that she was gaining a little more confidence in God but she has lately been suffering greatly with toothache by night and day and cannot bear the thought of being parted from Longmore for an hour, which is indeed a great trial and inconvenience. In every other respect Rebecca is most affectionate and dutiful. Dear Sarah will hopefully return home to be a comfort to them both – she seemed to leave home in a very humble frame of mind and there is no doubt but for some weeks she has been yielding to the influence of divine grace.
As for Longmore’s business, she does not know what to say. She cannot say that she is doing much more but appearances are more favourable. The greatest part of her grocery customers have left her because of an idea that she is more in the china and earthware line. [The National Commercial Directory 1833 lists Rebecca Longmore, china, glass and earthenware dealer of Cross Street, Oswestry.] Her father [Mr Lacon] continues to be here for the greater part of the day, ‘but he does not come to have anything to do, but with the grocery, he does not [unreadable word] how many pitcher customers I have, so I am on the spot’.
The young boy that she had working in the shop is leaving as there is so little for him to do – he has proposed going home to go to school for a bit. It is pretty clear that her brother John [Lacon - The National Commercial Directory 1833 lists John Lacon, grocer and tea dealer of Leg Street, Oswestry] does not intend to be put to any more expense over Sarah – she of course will be at home and perhaps it is all to the best. If Sarah gives her mind to the business, she will be a great help in every respect – she is thoughtful and orderly in all that she does.
Longmore sends her best wishes to [Rosamund] Tooth.
In a postscript, she mentions that Sarah intends to call on Tooth. Longmore hopes that she will not forget to call on Mrs Heid[?] – the girl is very timid and reserved.
She has been afflicted with a violent headache. Longmore might be in the midst of her relations but she feels very alone. They all wish her well but most of her dealings with them increases her aggravation – ‘party spirit is high. The [Methodist] cause in Oswestry is constantly in an improving state – the Methodists are watched on all sides. Anything is said against any of the members, it is brought to me in some way…’.
- Jonas Jones (1787-1863) was a resident of Madeley in Shropshire. Converted at the age of twenty, ‘his subsequent course was marked by simplicity and fervency’. He served as a class leader for fifty years and also provided lodging for the preachers. Reference is made to two daughters who outlived him and who were also involved with Methodism. Source: Methodist Magazine 1863, 95 and MAM/FL/4/13/12