From Rebecca Longmore in Church Street, Oswestry to Mary Tooth. Tooth’s kind (if short) letter should have been acknowledged sooner, especially as Tooth had asked Longmore to write. She has however been suffering from ‘trying exercises of the mind’ and poor circumstances. Spiritual matters are discussed. She needs to experience ‘something of the renewing power of divine grace to bear me up under my trials and bereavement’. She needs humility, patience and love. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail, with particular regard to her depression and spiritual struggles in the aftermath of the death of her husband [Benjamin Longmore].
[John] Wheelhouse called the other day [Wheelhouse was stationed in the Wrexham circuit which included Oswestry] and asked for his regards to be sent on to Tooth the next time that Longmore wrote. If Tooth could come to Oswestry, Wheelhouse would be very pleased to see her and have her help in doing the work of the Lord. Tooth should try and come before the weather gets too cold. Wheelhouse seems to think that they shall have the missionary meeting here early next month. Tooth should write soon and tell her when she will come.
Between doing needle work, housework and looking after the shop, Longmore is pretty well employed. Her father [Mr Lacon] is away for four or five days and when he is not around, Longmore is pretty well confined to the shop, although she has little to do in it. Father encourages her to help and she shall have more to do once harvest is over, which will be soon now. He is very kind and attentive and ‘very anxious that I should be doing enough to meet my present expenses, which is by no means the case'.
[Samuel?] Cooper told her the other day that [Edward] Sumner would call on her before too long [Sumner was stationed in the Madeley circuit] – it would give Longmore great pleasure to see him. He was a friend to her when she needed one and he is therefore high in her estimation. When Tooth sees him, she would be grateful if Tooth could enquire when Longmore can expect to see him. Spiritual matters are discussed.
Longmore’s health has greatly improved in the last few weeks. If Tooth sees Mr G. [George] Hartshorne, she should tell him that Longmore is thinking about writing to him, but as she has nothing in particular to say, she shall wait a little while longer. She supposes that he will get the money for the house later this emonth.
Longmore’s love should be passed to [Rosamund] Tooth.
Postscript written on Saturday.
This has been written in the shop during the course of the day. No doubt, Tooth will receive this letter tomorrow night or Monday morning. If Mr Sumner is with her, Tooth should ask him to ask Mr [George] Hartshorne to send the butter tub as soon as he can.
She is now every day expecting [John?] Stormont to call and Mr Norris in a few days or a week. Longmore wishes to be remembered to Mr and Mrs Rupell[?].
- John Wheelhouse (1777-1841) entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1805. He served as a circuit minister until 1821 when he withdrew from the active ministry for one year. He was again superannuated in 1833, while serving in the Shaftesbury Circuit because of an accusation of intemperance. Wheelhouse spent two years as a supernumary before rejoining the circuit ministry in 1835. His final superannuation took place in 1840 when he retired to Bradford in Yorkshire. Source: Minutes of Conference 1841 and MAW Ms 86.28.73
- Samuel Cooper (1802-36) was a farmer of Madeley in Shropshire. He served as a class leader for ten years and as a local preacher. His death on May 1st 1836 followed a short illness. Source: Arminian Magazine 1836, 487
- Edward Sumner (1792-1872) was born at Epperstone in Nottinghamshire. His parents were the first Methodists in their village and Sumner himself was converted at the age of fourteen. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1817 and exercised a circuit ministry in England, Wales and the Isle of Man until superannuation in 1851. After his retirement he moved to Madeley in Shropshire and was closely involved with the establishment of the Fletcher Memorial School at Madeley Wood. Source: Hill's Arrangement 1869 andMinutes of Conference 1872
- The National Commercial Directory 1833 lists George Hartshorne, cabinet maker and auctioneer of Broseley near Madeley.
- The National Commercial Directory 1833 lists John Stormont, patten [a type of shoe] maker of Iron Bridge near Madeley