From Beaminster. It was very kind of Fletcher to write to enquire after their dear [daughter] Louisa. They have come here for a change of air and she is much better for it. Spiritual matters are discussed. Her pulse is still however far from regular although she is getting her appetite back. As for the ‘trifle’ [money] that Ireland sent to Fletcher, it is at her disposal. She surely cannot expect Ireland to decide what to do with it.
He was pleased to read that Fletcher was satisfied with the sermon. He looks forward to seeing it.
Ireland has heard nothing from Fletcher’s [Swiss] nephew since his first letter. It is very odd that he has not answered Ireland’s communication when he [Ireland] had told him that they would be unable to entertain him before the end of June.
‘A new light appears in the west. A Dr [Robert] Hawker , a pious clergyman of uncommon talents & grace.’
They would be very grateful for Fletcher’s continued prayers for their dear Louisa.
- Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was born in Exeter, the son of a surgeon. He was educated at Exeter Grammar School and trained for a career in medicine. After spending three years as an assistant surgeon in the Royal Marines, Hawker matriculated at Oxford University but left without taking a degreee. Ordained in 1778, he served as a Curate at Charles near Plymouth and later succeeded to the Living. He was appointed Deputy Chaplain to the Plymouth Garrison in 1797 and in 1802 founded the Great Western Society for Dispersing Religious Tracts. Hawker was one of the most prominent Calvinists in the Church of England. A brilliant orator, for many years he paid an annual visit to London where he preached in crowded chapels. He also wrote extensively on theological matters and was a pioneer of Sunday Schools in Plymouth. Source: Dictionary of National Biography and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)