Scope and Content

From M[ary] Whittingham in Potten to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. She should have responded to Fletcher's kind letter long before now and informed her aunt of the Lord's dealings with them.

Whittingham was very moved to discover from Fletcher's letter that people were praying for her. The Lord certainly answered their pleas on her behalf. 'I had a very favourable time, and every circumstance seemed ordered so as to be most for my comfort, and convenience. I am blessed with a lovely boy who grows finely, and is as quiet as a lamb, for he is always in a good humour and cries very little. He is much admired by our friends, as he is a very promising child in his appearance, and one of them was a godly minister in this neighbourhood, and was one of his godfathers, seems much drawn out to pray for him that he may be an instrument of bringing many souls unto Jesus. He was privately baptised by his father [Richard Whittingham], and this day 3 weeks, he was solemnly dedicated to the Lord ... the minister above mentioned, his wife, and another Christian minister being his sponsors. The evening preceding, one of the ministers met many of our dear people in our house, and spoke from these words "Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King"[Psalm 149:1]...'

Mr [Melville] Horne is not far distant from them [parish of Olney] and they hope he will be able to visit them in a short time, as they long to be acquainted with him. Whittingham is also keen 'to derive instruction from the conduct and example of his wife, who I suppose is a very excellent woman.'

[Whittingham's daughter] Marianne has been very ill of a rheumatic complaint, which took away the use of her limbs, but the Lord has been graciously pleased to restore her to full health.

She saw Mr [Charles] Simeon recently. He and Whittingham's husband are good friends. Her son Samuel grows into a fine youth and pays a great deal of attention to his learning. Eliza is well and little John has not yet had a days illess.



  • 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 Henry 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 Martyn, to offer 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