From John Mason in London to Mary Tooth. The Wesleyan Connexion is considering the commission of a portrait ‘to gratify the numerous friends of the late Mr [John] Fletcher.’ It would be the same size as the one lately published of [John] Wesley. [A reference to the portrait of John Wesley by Thomas Jackson, painted in 1827.] They need to obtain a good painting of Fletcher ‘from whence the plate might be engraved.’ Has Tooth or any of her friends such a painting that Mason could have a look at?
This proposal will, Mason is sure, be gratifying to the many friends of that ‘valuable and useful servant of the Lord.’
He would be grateful if Tooth could speak with Mr [George] Russell and Mr [Richard?]Waddy and let Mason know the outcome.
- John Mason (1781-1864) was born in Derbyshire. He was trained in business before entering the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1811 and this background proved invaluable. Mason's circuit ministry lasted until 1824 when he was appointed one of the General Secretaries of the Missionary Society. In 1827 he was transferred to the Wesleyan Book Room with the office of Book Steward and served in that capacity until his death thirty-seven years later. Mason's first task as Book Steward was the management of the accumulated debts of the operation. He then oversaw a period of expansion which saw the Book Room move into profitability. Throughout this period Mason also preached regularly at City Road Chapel and acted as a class leader Source: Minutes of Conference 1864 and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)
- George Russell (1778-1834) entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1802. His circuit ministry was exercised in England and Wales. His death followed a long period of ill health. Russell was stationed in the Madeley circuit between 1828 and 1829. Source: Hill's Arrangement 1827 and Minutes of Conference 1834
- Richard Waddy (1769-1853) was born at Bilton in Yorkshire. He joined a Methodist class at the age of eighteen and shortly afterwards became a local preacher. Waddy entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1793 and served circuits in England and Scotland until superannuation in 1847. He spent his final years in Southampton. Waddy wrote A Vindication of the Methodists in a letter to the Rev. T. Y. Derby (1804) and The Christian Soldier's Manual (1815). His son Samuel Dousland Waddy (1804-76) also entered the Wesleyan ministry and served as President of Conference in 1859. Samuel's son Samuel Danks Waddy was a Gladstonian Liberal Member of Parliament. Source: Minutes of Conference 1853, Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)