From 32 Clarence Street Liverpool. Fletcher will no doubt have heard of her sister's [Ann Loxdale] marriage to Dr [Thomas] Coke which took place here on the 16th of last month - 'an event which has caused much surprise and general dissatisfaction to all her religious friends'. Hill and her husband [Thomas] are very unhappy about the matter and consider it most unwise for a woman of her age and poor state of health. They are very afraid for the consequences.
[Joseph] Entwisle, the assistant preacher here, did everything in his power to prevent it. None of the preachers approved of it, and none attended the ceremony. They blamed the doctor for not consulting with his colleagues about it. The couple set off immediately for Birmingham, from where they will visit the West of England. [Ann] has left behind a most suitable situation, which left her with ample opportunity to devote herself to the Lord - she had many friends here and was greatly beloved. [Ann] had worked very hard with her classes and the people were much attached to her. They are now left as sheep without a shepherd as it is very difficult to find suitable female class leaders. As for her family, she will be a great loss as she was had resided here for fifteen years and it had been expected that she would remain for the rest of her life.
Hill and her husband were concerned to hear of Fletcher's state of health, fearing that the winter would be very trying.
She is pleased to report that her nephew [William] Eden continues to make good [spiritual] progress, indeed she is astonished to reflect on what the Lord has wrought in him.
The work of God prospers much here and there was a large membership increase this last quarter. 'Tomorrow is the time for the renewal of the Covenant.' Spiritual matters are discussed.
[Thomas] continues to work at his country [Anglican] curacy and is much blessed in the work. He also spends much time in visiting the sick, so his days are very usefully filled up. How is Fletcher's neighbour [John] Eyton? Is he 'zealous and useful'? Similarly, how is Mr Walters? She hopes that the work prospers in Madeley. Reference is made to [Mary] Tooth.
Did [Ann] inform Fletcher of her forthcoming wedding? She did not apparently consult with anyone, nor would she listen to advice - she said that she knew what to do and did not need any other opinion.
[Thomas] joins in sending his regards.
- John Eyton (1779-1823) was the son of Thomas Eyton, gent., of Wellington, Shropshire. He was educated at Rugby School and St John's College Cambridge. Eyton was Vicar of Wellington and Eyton between 1802 and 1823, and was a friend of Mary Fletcher and her companion Mary Tooth. Eyton published a book of sermons. Source: Alumni Cantabrigienses compiled by J. A. Venn (1940) and Fletcher-Tooth collection
- William Henry Loxdale Eden (b.1786) was the nephew of Ann Loxdale, wife of Dr Thomas Coke, and Sarah Hill, a prominent Liverpool Methodist. He was put forward for the ministry by the Prescot circuit in 1812 and commenced his circuit ministry at Preston. Eden resigned from the ministry of his own accord in 1827 because of his falling into debt. Source: Fletcher-Tooth collection, Hill's Arrangement 1827, Conference Journal 1827 and manuscript list of preachers on trial 1812