From Mrs [Mary] Lomas in London to Mary Tooth. Lomas cannot express the gratitude for the Christian kindness that Tooth has shown towards her and her family in sending the ‘valuable and acceptable present’.
Anything connected with the late excellent and blessed John and Mary Fletcher holds ‘an extraordinary degree of affection in my heart’. It is a great pity that she was never privileged to have met them.
Lomas remembers when she was very young, soon after John Fletcher’s death , she read his biography and this made an immense impression, causing her to seek after God and holiness. To have ‘washed the feet, or to have performed the meanest office for two such eminent servants of my adorable Redeemer, I should have thought one of the highest honours…’.
Lomas’s veneration and love for the Fletchers has been increased by her conversations with her late husband [Robert] who considered Mary Fletcher to be a ‘Mother in Israel indeed’. He was himself above the common standard of Christians and he entered much into the deep ways of God. When he met Mary Fletcher, their conversation to him was like “Rain upon the mown grass…”. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.
Tooth should accept Lomas’s thanks on behalf of her children, who with the exception of Mary, are all away from home; Sarah and Nathaniel ‘are gone down to the sea’ as they have both been unwell. Robert is at Kingswood [school] to see his brother [John], ‘whom God hath lately called to preach…’.
In a postscript, Lomas asks that Tooth write to her if her labours on behalf of the Church and the poor allow.
- Mary Lomas (1771-1832) was the wife of the Wesleyan itinerant Robert Lomas (1769-1810). She was born in Manchester, the sister of the Wesleyan itinerant Jonathan Barber. Mary was converted in early life and was greatly influenced by reading the biography of John Fletcher. Her marriage to Lomas was at the suggestion of the itinerant John Pawson. She brought with her a dowry of £1,000. After the death of her husband, she lived mainly in Bristol where she was a class leader. Afflicted for many years with asthma, she died during a severe attack on March 1st 1832. In her obituary in the Methodist Magazine, her conduct during her travels with her husband was described as ‘examplary…she was highly esteemed as a prudent and pious woman in every circuit where they were stationed’. Her Christian name and maiden name are not recorded in the standard sources. Source: Methodist Magazine 1832, 314 and information provided by John Lenton.
- Robert Lomas (1769-1810) entered the itinerancy in 1789 and served mainly in the North-west of England until his appointment as Connexional Book Steward in 1804. After three years in that post, he was stationed in the Bristol circuit where he died ‘of a violent fever on his brain, which greatly affected his reason, though at times it was restored…’ Source: Minutes of Conference 1810 and An Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Preachers…1739-1818, compiled by Kenneth Garlick
- John Lomas (1798-1877) was born in Hull, the son of the Wesleyan itinerant Robert Lomas (1769-1810) and his wife Mary (1771-1832), who was herself the sister of the itinerant Jonathan Barber. Lomas was educated at Kingswood School and was converted there at the age of ten. He was a teacher at Kingswood from 1813 to 1819 and served as headmaster from 1819 to 1822. Lomas entered the ministry in 1820 and swiftly achieved prominence. He served in the circuit ministry from 1822 until 1861 when he was appointed Theological Tutor at Richmond College. In 1868 he moved to the same position at Headingley and served there until his superannuation to Redland near Bristol in 1873. Lomas was President of Conference in 1853. Lomas was a particularly gifted and popular preacher. His obituary describes his personal character as ‘honest as the day, guileless as a little child…he evinced a cheerfulness which sometimes rose to joyfulness…but never degenerated into levity’. Source: Minutes of Conference 1878, Hill’s Arrangement 1874, History of Kingswood School by ‘Three Old Boys’ (London., 1898) and information provided by John Lenton