From Elizabeth Mortimer in [London] to [Mary] Fletcher in Madeley. She was very grateful for the encouragement that Fletcher gave her at a very troubled time through the letters to Miss Gilbert. ‘I will not enter into the particulars of what I had passed through: suffice it to say it was one of the most painful dispensations (as to bodily pain) I ever passed through…’ Spiritual matters are discussed.
Mortimer is now restored to health although it is debatable if her eye will ever regain its former strength of sight, but in other respects she is well. Spiritual matters are further discussed.
Her husband [Harvey Walklate] Mortimer is kindness itself and the children are also very sweet and attentive. Mary was particularly useful as she has now finished school and is at home full-time. ‘She has a great degree of restraining grace and at times feels something of the awakening influence of the Holy Spirit…’ Mortimer often feels for the souls of the children and offers up prayers on their account, but apart from Mary the rest are yet to come into the fold.
Miss Gilbert will inform Fletcher how well dear Mrs Greenwood [probably a relation (widow?) of Charles Greenwood (1725-1783), trustee of City Road chapel and personal friend of John Fletcher ] and Dr [John] Whitehead finished their earthly existence. Poor Mrs Horner is very bad – the doctors have not told her that she has cancer, but others have reached that conclusion. ‘I see much mercy in this visitation for it is likely to prove the means of preventing her marrying a person who now resides in Portugal and who I think she can scarce know enough of, to dare to take such a step with…’
Dear Lady Mary [Fitzgerald] is also troubled at the moment – ‘By her son’s loss of an estate (which a natural daughter of Mr Fitzgerald’s has lately sued him for and carried her point) her son is unable to provide for his children and she has been obliged to exert herself for the two youngest sons. She first got them places in the East Indies, but the father would not let them go. She then got them in the army here and now they are in town [London]. General Harvey has taken them a lodging but she is obliged to assist them in a way that almost drains [her] and she told me the other day that if she had not had something which she had kept for illness and her funeral, she could not have done as she has for them, but their extravagance and wickedness is what pains her most…’
Since Mortimer started this letter ‘a daughter of our friend [Eleanor] Dickinson of Leeds (who is married and settled in Yorkshire but is now in town with her husband) begs me to say [that] her mother is well and very divinely supported.’
Fletcher was indebted to Lady Mary [Fitzgerald] for last year’s porter as she would not allow Mortimer to pay for it and has claimed the privilege of providing the same every year while she lives.
Her husband and Mary joins in sending regards to Fletcher and [Mary] Tooth.
In a postscript, she asks if Fletcher has heard the news that [John] Crosse a clergyman from Bradford has been engaged to labour as an [Anglican] clergyman at City Road Chapel.
- Eleanor Dickinson (1747-1815) was born at Horsforth near Leeds, Yorkshire, the daughter of Robert and Ann Thornton. Orphaned by the age of nine, Eleanor was converted at an early age and was a devout member of the Church of England. At the age of 21 she began to attend Methodist preaching and in 1773 married Abraham Dickinson (d.1804), a member of the Leeds Methodist Society. Eleanor was a close friend and regular correspondent of Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher. A generous giver to the poor, Eleanor acted as a class leader for many years and enjoyed a wide reputation for saintliness of character. Source: Methodist Magazine 1819, 683f
- John Crosse (1739-1816) was the son of Hammond Crosse, gent. of Kensington, London. He was educated at a school near Barnet, Hertfordshire. It is not known when and by whom Crosse was ordained into the Anglican Church but as a young man he occupied curacies in Wiltshire and the Lock Chapel in London. From 1765 for three years he traveled around Europe and then completed studies at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, from where he graduated B.A. in 1768. In 1776 Crosse was incorporated B.A. at Cambridge and later took the degree of M.A. at King's College. After graduation Crosse held several curacies in the north of England before being appointed Vicar of Bradford in 1784. Crosse was a well-regarded evangelical who despite being afflicted with blindness during the last years of his life, continued to perform the offices of the Church until a fortnight before his death. Under the terms of his will, Crosse founded three theological scholarships at Cambridge University and left money in trust for the promotion of the 'cause of true religion'. His life was made the subject of a book by Rev. William Morgan in 1841. Source: Dictionary of National Biography