From John Mason at Potterne near Devizes [Mason was stationed in the Bradford circuit [Wiltshire] during the connexional years 1786-1788. ] to John King at the Methodist Preaching House in Thirsk. [King was stationed in Thirsk during the connexional years 1787-1789.] King’s friends at Trowbridge and Shaftesbury [King was stationed in the Plymouth circuit during the connexional year 1785 and a year later at Bradford in Wiltshire, where he was Mason’s colleague] are all pleased to hear how he is getting on. They are all pretty much as King left them, except for Abel Stothert who has gone to Bath and his wife is either dead or close to it.
Mrs Newal and Miss Willmot of Bradford are both dead.
Two persons at Coleford (James Padfield and a woman) died suddenly in the Preaching House, but not both at the same time. There were four or five weeks in-between the incidents.
There is a great revival at Shepton Mallet with about eighty added to the society since the Conference. Mason thinks that many of them are truly converted to God. The congregations are very large. The old [preacher’s] dwelling house is being taken down in order to add it to the ‘preaching room’ [Preaching House/chapel], which will make it slightly more than one third larger than previously. They are talking of building [a Preaching House] at Trowbridge and Mason thinks that there is some prospect of a [Preaching] house being raised there.
The Methodists are doing very well at Broomham and Frome. At Ditcheat about twenty more have been added to the society, ‘but they are an unsteady people’. At Coleford there is little progress but the time may come when they shall prosper there also.
‘There is a little stir [revival] at Bradford, but at Freshford, we are worse & worse…’
- John Mason (1733-1810) was born in Hambledon, Hampshire. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his aunt and was converted by a George Whitefield sermon. In 1764 Mason abandoned his prosperous business to enter the itinerancy. He served in the active circuit ministry for thirty-three years before poor health forced his superannuation in 1797 after which he spent the rest of his life in Portsmouth. Mason was a highly educated man and possessed a particularly fine botanical collection. Source: Arminian Magazine 1810, p.357, Kenneth Garlick, An Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Preachers and Missionaries, and the stations to which they were appointed 1739-1818 and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)
- John King (1752-1822) was born in Guisborough in Yorkshire. He was converted in early life and joined the Methodist society in 1770. He became a local preacher and was instrumental in opening the work in several new places in Yorkshire. King joined the itinerancy in 1783 and exercised his circuit ministry in England until superannuation in 1811. He settled in Seven Oaks in Kent but remained active until poor health late in life forced him into a more sedentary existence. Source: Kenneth Garlick, An Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Preachers and Missionaries, and the stations to which they were appointed 1739-1818, Minutes of Conference 1823 and information provided by John Lenton