Scope and Content

From Anne Tripp in [Leeds] to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. Fletcher's kind letter with its enclosure [gift of money] arrived safely. She is very grateful indeed for this favour 'so repeatedly conferred'.

Tripp was also pleased by the positive report of Fletcher's health, which she prays may continue for the good of the Church. She rejoiced in Fletcher's report of 'those gone to glory ...'. Spiritual matters are discussed.

The work is proceeding well here, especially among the young. There is a 'blessed company of young ones in one of my classes, several of whom know the Lord, and older ones are coming forward in the work. Our preachers are good and useful men, much blest to the people.'

Tripp's health has been very poor for some months past, so that she has been obliged to give up one of her classes, which had 39 people in it, so that she now only has 2 classes, both of which are large. She does not know how long she will be able to keep these classes going, although she has been feeling a little better this last fortnight.

In April dear Mrs [Elizabeth] Mortimer called in while travelling to Otley and said that she intended to return in 10 days and remain with Tripp for a few days. However, by the time she returned, Tripp was confined to her bed by sickness and was kept there throughout the stay. She found Mortimer's conversation and company very profitable - her faith seems to be growing stronger. Mr [Harvey Walklate] Mortimer is much better.

Tripp sympathises with Fletcher in her brother's trial - loss of sight is a terrible affliction, but perhaps this will be a means to bring him to God. Spiritual matters are discussed.

They are all in a fuss here getting ready for the Wesleyan Conference. This year's meeting is expected to be the largest assembly ever. 'The new school will bring many, they have got an account already of 400 coming, but by reason of the badness of trade, and the dearness of provisions, there is much difficulty in getting places for them; many who had used to take 2 or 3 are now bankrupts.' For her part, Tripp is fearful to take the same number of people as she would have previously. Her house is very close to the venue and she is afraid that she will be very affected by fatigue.

Tripp has been very worried lately by the awfulness of the times. She is afraid that a storm is gathering, which she fears can be averted only by prayer and humiliation. Fletcher's dream about the reign of King Charles seems close to coming true. The country around Leeds has long been in a very disturbed state with cloth mills destroyed and pieces of cloth cut to pieces. Threatening letters have been sent and some lives have been lost. 'Even now our streets are lighted and horse guards patrol the streets every night. There appears a strong [radical political] combination and though a thousand pounds have been offered, no discovery has been made. It seems as if a deeper plot was underneath than the destruction of gig mills. Almost all trades fails and provisions are very high; flour is 5 shilling a stone and rising again today. What the end will be, who can say.'

Dear [Eleanor] Dickenson is well and sends her love to Fletcher and [Mary] Tooth



  • Harvey Walklate Mortimer (1753-1819) was born in Newcastle under Lyme in Staffordshire. He was converted by the preaching of the Wesleyan itinerant John Hilton in 1770 and moved to London soon after. Mortimer went on to occupy some of the most responsible lay positions in the London Society, including steward, chapel trustee and treasurer. He became a close friend of John Wesley, who regarded him as a shining example of what a lay official should be like. Mortimer's third wife was the famous female Methodist Elizabeth Ritchie. He was a leading supporter of the link with the Church of England and it was no coincidence that it was shortly after he died that Methodist itinerants were permitted to read the prayers at City Road Chapel for the first time. Source: City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, by George J. Stevenson (London 1872), 153 and 554-555.