Letters of Elizabeth Ritchie/Mortimer

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 MAM/FL/6/6 and MAM/FL/6/7
  • Former Reference
      GB 135 MAM/FL/6/6 and MAM/FL/6/7
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      71 items.

Scope and Content

This section contains the correspondence from Elizabeth Ritchie/Mortimer.

Unless otherwise stated all the letters in this collection were written to either Mary Tooth or Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher.

Administrative / Biographical History

Elizabeth Ritchie-Mortimer (1754-1835)was born in Otley, Yorkshire, daughter of a naval surgeon. Her parents were Methodists and John Wesley often stayed at their home. As a young woman, she attended her local parish church and regarded Methodism with some hostility. Converted in 1772 Ritchie was soon appointed a class leader and became influential in the Otley society as a teacher and spiritual advisor.

After 1780 she travelled extensively in England and Ireland and corresponded with many leading evangelicals especially John Wesley, who summoned her to his side during his final illness. She was a close friend of Sarah Crosby and Mary Fletcher.

In 1801 Ritchie married Harvey Walklate Mortimer and settled in London where she resumed her role as a class leader. She was also a prominent member of the Ladies' Working Society, which met weekly at City Road Chapel for prayer and discussions on spiritual subjects. Other members included Sarah Wesley junior and the wives of the City Road ministers.

Ritchie died on April 9 1835 at her home in Islington. She was interred in the family vault at City Road Chapel. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995), George John Stevenson, City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Memorial (1872) and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)