From Hull, to [Mary] Fletcher. Ritchie deliberately delayed writing to Fletcher until she came to Hull. On her arrival here she discovered that Mr [R.] Perry has been prevented from making the trip to Madeley at the time that he intended and that [Joseph] Benson has therefore proposed an alternative method of conveying the [John Fletcher] manuscripts. [See MAM/FL /6/6/11-12 and MAM/FL /6/6/14] She considered waiting a little while before writing to Fletcher and obtained a frank dated December 20th but a conversation yesterday with Benson causes her to write immediately. Perry intends travelling to Worcester some time before Christmas (it is Ritchie’s understanding that the Miss Yeomans have moved there as well). If Fletcher could send the papers there, Perry would take very good care of them, but he [Perry] thinks that the safest way would be to send the manuscripts to London directed to Mr Thornton. Fletcher could put them in a box and send them on the coach from Shifnall directed to Mr R. Perry at the house of Samuel Thornton esq. In Things Arms Yard, Coleman Street, London. Perry wrote to London today to ask that particular care should be taken of any parcel delivered to him there. Two of Perry’s friends are in London in a week or two who can take the manuscripts with them back to Hull.
As Ritchie intends still to use the 20th December frank she will not say much more for the present.
She arrived here safely three weeks ago.
In a postscript, she adds that the date for opening the new preaching house here has been deferred until the Sunday before Christmas day.
- Samuel Thornton (1754-1838) was born in Brighton, Sussex, the oldest son of the philanthropist John Thornton. Samuel followed his father into banking and was a director of the Bank of England for 53 years. He was also a Member of Parliament for Hull 1784-1806; for Surrey 1807-1812 and 1813-1838 and was a governor of the Russia and Eastland companies. Thornton was active in charitable and religious work. He served as a vice-president of the Church Missionary Society and as governor of Greenwich Hospital. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)