Letter

Scope and Content

From Mary Whittingham at Potten Vicarage to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. Whittingham was very pleased to receive Fletcher's letter written in her own hand. She is now much better in her health than when she last wrote to Fletcher.

They have very lately been to [Charles] Simeon's meeting of his Christian friends, which he holds once a year. Whittingham 'found it a refreshing season to body and soul. A good man who was there, read some notes he had taken down in shorthand and they were a great blessing and comfort to me. They compared the conflicts, trials and difficulties the soul passes through in a progressive state of sanctification to the tuning of musical instruments preparatory to the harmony ...' Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

Through the death of Mr [Samuel] Whitbread, they have lost a good friend and Whittingham is much grieved for his family and worthy and pious sister Lady St John. 'His great attention and application was too much for him. It affected his mental powers, and produced derangement [Whitbread took his own life on 6 June 1815]. He was a great friend to us, to the poor, and to the cause of God. He will be greatly missed by many. It is a very distressing circumstance - Lady St John has written to me and much grace and resignation appears in her letter'.

Her daughter Marianne is now near London - 'poor dear, she cannot rest in peace ... I think she is very nervous, but I hear she conducts herself very virtuously when she is about, and I believe she cannot help little addresses in her temper, which seem to proceed from the state of her nerves. She left us this time with more regret than usual and seemed more affectionate to me ...'

Their friend [Charles] Simeon particularly asked her to pass his love to Fletcher. He is better in health than previously and preaches more regularly.

Her oldest son [Samuel] preaches at two churches near Oxford and has found that the congregations have increased as a result. Her husband [Richard] sends his regards.