Scope and Content

From Ann Warren [wife of the prominent Wesleyan minister Samuel Warren] in Chester to Mary Tooth at Mary Fletcher's Vicarage in Madeley. Warren heard from Mr [Edward] Oakes that Mrs Fletcher is very ill, and she is taking the opportunity presented by a friend passing through Madeley on the way to Cheltenham to send this note to ask for news. Warren fears from Mr Oakes' account that 'your Elijah is about to be taken ... soon'. The Church has long been favoured with her labour, and they must, like Elisha, submit to this translation. Warren wishes that she could 'catch her spirit'. She shall always thank God for the blessing of her 'one interview with the venerable Saint, the memory of her kindness to me, and wise instructions relative to my situation remain to this day lively in my mind ... My heart now fills at the recollection of that condescending affability with which she instructed me in matters of deep concern to myself and the Church of Christ ...'.

The friends by whom this letter is being delivered (Mr Marris et al) would be grateful for an opportunity to see Mrs Fletcher - hopefully, she will not be too indisposed.

Warren would like Mrs Fletcher to be informed that Warren's soul is fully engaged in the work of the Lord. She is currently visiting for a short time with her sister. Warren's dear husband is at the district meeting. Warren can be contacted at the house of Miss Williams, the draper in Chester.

In a postscript, she adds that the dear friends who are delivering this letter are members of the Manchester Methodist society. Mr Marris is class leader. 'They wish to see the plain and precious relict of one [John Fletcher] whose works have been to them as well as thousands more so great a blessing.'

Mr Oakes also sends his best wishes.



  • Edward Oakes (1770-1838) was born in Macclesfield. He received his early education from the prominent Anglican evangelical David Simpson and was converted at the age of 14 by a sermon preached by the Wesleyan itinerant Joseph Benson. Oakes joined the Wesleyan society and at the age of 18 started to preach and exhort. Oakes was accepted as a Wesleyan itinerant in 1814 and served an active circuit ministry until a short time before his death.Source: Minutes of Conference 1839
  • Samuel Warren (1781-1862) was born either in Great Yarmouth or Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, the son of a sea captain. Warren spent several years at sea and was a prisoner of war for a time. In 1802, Warren entered the Wesleyan ministry and exercised an active circuit ministry for over thirty years and was well-respected for his talents. He was also a considerable scholar who received the degrees of MA and DD from the University of Glasgow. In 1834 Warren was suspended for leading agitation against the decision to set up a theological institution. He lost a lawsuit contesting control of Oldham Street Chapel in Manchester and was expelled from the Connexion in 1835. Warren was followed out of Wesleyan Methodism by eight thousand supporters and the Wesleyan Methodist Association was the result. Warren served as the first President but left two years later over a dispute concerning the constitution of the new church. Warren was subsequently ordained into the Anglican ministry and became Vicar of Ancoats in Manchester. Warren's son Samuel junior achieved distinction as a novelist, lawyer and Member of Parliament. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974), Dictionary of Methodism in Britain and Ireland edited by John Vickers and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography edited by Donald Lewis (1995)