From C[atherine] Sleep in Penryn to Mary Tooth in Madeley. It occurs to Catherine that Tooth may be attending the Conference in London and that she might be willing to provide some news from the meeting.
Making the request regarding Conference formed only part of the reason for writing this letter – only a few days pass without the Sleeps thinking of their dear friend Miss Tooth and they talk of her often. Many of their Cornish friends consider that the Sleeps have been highly favoured in being able to spend time in Madeley where John and Mary Fletcher passed their time and devoted their ministry. Madeley seems to be ‘consecrated ground.’ Mrs Fletcher’s and Lady [Darcy] Maxwell’s [Type of footwear] lives are more prized by Catherine than any other, and to think of the former is also to think of Miss Tooth.
Catherine’s health is quite good at the moment, although she has suffered during the winter because of the dampness of the house (it is a most delightful residence during the summer). Spiritual matters are discussed in detail, with particular regard to the doctrine of sanctification and claims to sinless perfection.
They have been invited to the Bodmin circuit for next year and would reside at St Columb. [The Sleeps were indeed appointed to the Bodmin circuit in 1828 and 1829] It is one of William’s old circuits [William Sleep served the Bodmin circuit in 1813 and 1814] and they have accepted the invitation, assuming that Conference confirm the arrangement.
Catherine supposes that Tooth has heard of Mr [Robert] Newstead of Cheltenham [Newstead was stationed in Cheltenham between 1827 and 1829] . He is here at the moment ‘on the eve of taking Miss S. R. a native of this town’ to be his wife. Their acquaintance has been short dating back to when Newstead was in Cornwall last Spring as a member of the Cornish Missionary deputation. Catherine thinks that the bride’s sister will travel with them.
How are things at Madeley and Wellington etc. They trust that both Miss Tooth and Rosamund are both well – they would have been pleased to have had Rosamund visit their house ‘when she visited her sisters’.
[Annotated by Tooth – ‘answered March 7th 1829’]
- Lady Darcy Maxwell (1742-1810) was born in Brisbane, Scotland, the daughter of Thomas Brisbane. She was educated at home and in Edinburgh and at the age of seventeen was married to Sir William Maxwell. Her husband died after just three years, leaving her in possession of a substantial fortune. Maxwell was a member of the Church of Scotland and retained this allegiance despite joining the Edinburgh Methodist society in 1764. One of the few prominent Scottish Methodist converts, Maxwell was a close friend and regular correspondent of John Wesley. She founded a school for boys in 1770 and was a generous supporter of Methodist and Anglican causes. In 1786 Maxwell was named executrix to Lady Glenorchy and was given a particular responsibility for maintaining Glenorchy's chapels and other institutions. Source: Annie Keeling, Eminent Methodist Women (1889), Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
- Robert Newstead (1789-1865) was born at Howton St Peters in Norfolk. He was converted at the age of eighteen and entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1815. Newstead served as a missionary in Ceylon for nine years from 1816 and translated parts of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer into Indo-Portugese. After his return to England, he compiled a Portugese hymn-book for use in Ceylon and continued to take an active interest in foreign missions. Newstead served as a circuit minister in England from 1825 to 1832 and was then appointed to the English Mission in Paris. After four years in France, he returned to home circuit work. Newstead superannuated in 1861 to Tadcaster in Yorkshire. Source: Hills Arrangement 1861 and Minutes of Conference 1865