Letter

Scope and Content

From Lady Dornford. She had waited some time before replying to Fletcher's last, in the hope that she could inform Fletcher that peace had been restored to this divided family. This, through the mercy of God, has in some sense been accomplished by the withdrawal of the caveat. Mr Hard-castle, Domford and the other executors are therefore able to proceed with the settlement of the claims arising from Dornford's husband's will [Sir Josiah Dornford]. This document was found to be perfectly legal and in order so that whatever litigation might arise thereafter with regard to specific bequests, the regularity of the testator's will cannot be set aside. Thankfully, all [such disputes] have been overruled. Dornford would willingly sacrifice a great deal for the sake of peace. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

Dornford hopes to send Fletcher her dear husband's legacy in January, 'and with it …add my mite of love to your dear people, whose prayers we have so often felt the good of, and for whom I feel the most unfeigned gratitude. If you will have the kindness to give them forty shillings at Christmas, I will take care & remit to you £7 instead of five guineas… I trust every pensioner will be remembered IN PART as long as I remain in the body. I know IN THIS I am fulfilling also the will of my dear husband'.

[Charles] Simeon 'has been the great means under God I believe, of hastening at least the period of suspense in which I remained more than two months. He came up twice from Cambridge to take the place of my son [Thomas] Thomason, and to act for him…He examined every account and with Mr Hardcastle determined to see the will of the testator conscientiously carried into effect. Simeon has indeed showed himself to be the friend of the widow and fatherless.

[Her daughter] Esther's health is now so delicate that she is now proceeding with her into Devonshillre, where they intend to stay until the end of January. Joseph [Dornford] wifollow as soon as the [university] vacation commences and Dornford will then return to London with him to settle the sale of the estates left to the grandchildren and distribute the rest of the property. Esther will remain in Devon for the sake of the clean air, under the care of Dornford's sister. 'She is a weak plant & I seem to hold her with a trembling hand'.

Dornford was concerned to hear that Fletcher's own health is poor. She realises that it must be hard for Fletcher to write at her time of life, but no-one would value such a favour more. Dornford used to be a constant reader of Fletcher's letters to her husband. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

Notes

  • Lady Domford (b.1754) was the wife of Sir Josiah Domford, a member of the court of common council of the city of London and the author of several pamphlets on civic affairs and the reform of debtors' prisons. By her first husband, Thomas Thomason, she was the mother of the famous missionary Thomas Truebody Thomason. Dornford was a close friend of the evangelical minister Charles Simeon and was also a correspondent of Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher. Source: Dictionary of National Biography under Charles Simeon, Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995) under Thomas Truebody Thomason and FletcherTooth collection
  • Thomas Truebody Thomason (1774-1829) was born in Plymouth, the son of Thomas Thomason of Plymouth School, Greenwich. He was educated at Magdalen College Cambridge where he came under the influence of the evangelical Charles Simeon. Thomason was ordained and elected a Fellow of Queen's College in 1797. In 1808 Thomason was appointed by the East India Company to a chaplaincy at the Mission Church in Calcutta. He was a gifted linguist and produced a translation of the scriptures. Thomason was also a founder member of the Calcutta Bible Society and involved himself with the work of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) despite the opposition of his bishop. Thomason was a keen supporter of native education and was instrumental in the setting up of the first CMS schools in Bengal. He also founded a School Book Society and a female orphan society for the illegitimate children of Europeans. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995) and J. A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses (1922)
  • Charles Simeon (1759-1836) was the son of Richard Simeon of Reading, Berkshire. His elder brother was Sir John Simeon, Master in Chancery and First Baronet (1756-1824). Simeon was educated at Eton and King's College Cambridge where he was converted. He was ordained deacon in 1782 and shortly afterwards made the acquaintance of John Venn the evangelical clergyman and associate of the Wesleys. Simeon at first worked as a curate at St Edward's, Cambridge and was then appointed Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cambridge. After much initial opposition because of his reputation for piety, Simeon won over the parishioners through his unflagging energy and benevolence. He was three times Dean of King's College and vice- provost from 1790 to 1792. Simeon is best known for his promotion of Anglican missionary work in India. A close friend of Charles Grant, a director of the East India Company, Simeon was his confidential advisor with regard to the appointment of chaplains. He persuaded some of his own curates, such as Henry Martyr, to offer themselves for work overseas. He was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society in 1797 and a supporter of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Source: Dictionary of National Biography
  • Sir Josiah Domford (d.1810) of Deptford, Kent, was a member of the court of common council of the city of London and the author of several pamphlets on civic affairs and the reform of debtors' prisons. His second wife was the widow of Thomas Thomason, whose son by her first marriage was the famous missionary Thomas Thomason. Domford and his wife were correspondents of Mary Bosanquet- Fletcher. Source: DNB under Joseph and Josiah Domford and Fletcher- Tooth collection Joseph Domford (1794-1868): Rector of Plymtree in Devon .

Note

Notes

  • Lady Domford (b.1754) was the wife of Sir Josiah Domford, a member of the court of common council of the city of London and the author of several pamphlets on civic affairs and the reform of debtors' prisons. By her first husband, Thomas Thomason, she was the mother of the famous missionary Thomas Truebody Thomason. Dornford was a close friend of the evangelical minister Charles Simeon and was also a correspondent of Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher. Source: Dictionary of National Biography under Charles Simeon, Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995) under Thomas Truebody Thomason and FletcherTooth collection
  • Thomas Truebody Thomason (1774-1829) was born in Plymouth, the son of Thomas Thomason of Plymouth School, Greenwich. He was educated at Magdalen College Cambridge where he came under the influence of the evangelical Charles Simeon. Thomason was ordained and elected a Fellow of Queen's College in 1797. In 1808 Thomason was appointed by the East India Company to a chaplaincy at the Mission Church in Calcutta. He was a gifted linguist and produced a translation of the scriptures. Thomason was also a founder member of the Calcutta Bible Society and involved himself with the work of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) despite the opposition of his bishop. Thomason was a keen supporter of native education and was instrumental in the setting up of the first CMS schools in Bengal. He also founded a School Book Society and a female orphan society for the illegitimate children of Europeans. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995) and J. A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses (1922)
  • Charles Simeon (1759-1836) was the son of Richard Simeon of Reading, Berkshire. His elder brother was Sir John Simeon, Master in Chancery and First Baronet (1756-1824). Simeon was educated at Eton and King's College Cambridge where he was converted. He was ordained deacon in 1782 and shortly afterwards made the acquaintance of John Venn the evangelical clergyman and associate of the Wesleys. Simeon at first worked as a curate at St Edward's, Cambridge and was then appointed Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cambridge. After much initial opposition because of his reputation for piety, Simeon won over the parishioners through his unflagging energy and benevolence. He was three times Dean of King's College and vice- provost from 1790 to 1792. Simeon is best known for his promotion of Anglican missionary work in India. A close friend of Charles Grant, a director of the East India Company, Simeon was his confidential advisor with regard to the appointment of chaplains. He persuaded some of his own curates, such as Henry Martyr, to offer themselves for work overseas. He was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society in 1797 and a supporter of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Source: Dictionary of National Biography
  • Sir Josiah Domford (d.1810) of Deptford, Kent, was a member of the court of common council of the city of London and the author of several pamphlets on civic affairs and the reform of debtors' prisons. His second wife was the widow of Thomas Thomason, whose son by her first marriage was the famous missionary Thomas Thomason. Domford and his wife were correspondents of Mary Bosanquet- Fletcher. Source: DNB under Joseph and Josiah Domford and Fletcher- Tooth collection Joseph Domford (1794-1868): Rector of Plymtree in Devon .