Letter

Scope and Content

From Leeds to Madeley. The Fletchers must not go short themselves in order to send their Leeds friends so much money, especially as they think they can do with less at present. 'It may be more convenient to you at some future time'. Spiritual matters are discussed.

'I have also abundant cause to praise God for the little addition to yr kind bounty. wch I have hitherto recd from the elixer. As it has enabled me to bear an EQUAL part in our expences; excepting rent, of wch my dr frd has the heaviest part…'

Yesterday Miss Salmon gave Crosby two guineas for the electrical machine, but did not say anything about the great stool. Is that to go with the machine as part of the two guineas purchase price?

They were pleased to hear that the Fletchers are in good health.

'My heart sighs to tell you, yet I think it right to let you know, how that poor man [Richard? Taylor] has been going on: yea, frds have sd I ought to write to YOU, least he shd come & impose upon you. Indeed many people in Leeds, Morley, Birstal & other places; are at prest much imployd in talking of his ROGISHNESS, & worse, as many call it, VILLANEY, so that at ale houses, they talk of the bills he has drawn on his son, & say this is yr METHODIST PREACHER! WILL YE GO HEAR HIM, & then DAMN THEM ALL TOGETHER. Some or other, are calling on US almost daily abt him. Peter Rhodes called on us, wth a returned bill on[?] his son, for so. "Sd he had no dealings with him: but R. Taylor askd them, to take a sack of malt of him, calld next week for the money, & sd he had a barley man to pay £36 to. He had 26, wd be obliged to them to take a bill on his son, & give him cash. They askd why the barley man cd not take it? He sd why Sir, he is a stranger, does not know ME, nor MY SON: they askd has yr SON any effects of yrs? 0 yes Sir! I send him [unreadable word] & BACON & Huddersfield PLAINS: my son wd answer, if it were for £100. So they gave him £10 - just when the advertzt appeared in the paper, that R. T. [Richard Taylor?] had given up his effects, this bill came back with 4s 6d charge. HE HAD NOT GIVEN HIS SON ANY ADVICE ABT IT…'

Peter Rhodes has told his mother that he thought that some of [Taylor's] friends would set him up again soon.

[Part of the next paragraph has been torn away but other details are given of Taylor's misconduct including his defrauding two orphaned children of £50].

Since [Taylor] was ejected from the [Methodist] Society, someone did take him in to preach and this person was a 'little awakened but now curses the Methodists'. Several people in Leeds have had his bills come back to them. 'John T has accepted several bills, & they say he will be sold up too'.

Samuel Crowder says that Sister [Taylor?] has been somewhat better in health. He also says that R. T. [Richard Taylor?] told him before he went off, that he [Taylor] had never lived closer to God in his whole life before as he had done for many months past.

Sally Taylor was here today, saying that her mother has had a fit from missing her 'opm' [opium?] once and then taking two doses to compensate. She is better now. On being asked how they lived, she said that [her father] had left them meal, malt, bacon and two cows, and that when they wanted more they were to go to Mr Ingham, 'who Sally sd was prest with his burthen so they are going on as usual, except that people come to them about their bills etc - they send them on to Mr Ingham.

There has been another very sad affair to relate. Poor Mrs Smith is not right in her head. She has been physically unwell for some time. 'Mr [William] Hey bid her live low: She did. Then she thot Mr Hey did not understand her case. She eat roast beef & drank good beer some days, thot herself better, then wd eat NOTHING, but drink water in wch bread was boiled every few minutes, for 5 days. They then saw she was [mentally] wrong, Mr Hey sd her fever was gone & she had lost her understanding: must not be left alone night, nor day! She talks many things sensible, in others like a child: is better in her health; walks out some times & some times will not WASH or dress her. Mr [Hey] thinks it a very particular case!'

Note

  • William Hey (1736-1819) was born at Pudsey near Leeds, Yorkshire, the son of a drysalter. He was educated at Heath School near Wakefield despite being blind in one eye as a result of a childhood accident. Apprenticed to a surgeon at the age of fourteen, he went on to study at St George's Hospital in London. In 1757 Hey returned to Leeds and set up in practice. In 1767 he was active in promoting the foundation of Leeds Infirmary and served there as senior surgeon from 1773 to 1812. He was a close friend of Dr Joseph Priestley despite profound religious differences and was proposed by Priestley for membership of the Royal Society. Hey also served as President of the first Leeds Literary and Philosophical Society and was twice Mayor of the town. Hey was a devout Methodist and served as Circuit Steward for many years. He was also a regular worshipper at Leeds Parish Church and was such a staunch opponent of profanity and vice during his time as mayor, that he was burned in effigy by a section of the populace. Source: DNB and Peter S. Forsaith, A Kindled Fire: John and Charles Wesley and the Methodist Revival in the Leeds area (1988), p.6

Note

Note

  • William Hey (1736-1819) was born at Pudsey near Leeds, Yorkshire, the son of a drysalter. He was educated at Heath School near Wakefield despite being blind in one eye as a result of a childhood accident. Apprenticed to a surgeon at the age of fourteen, he went on to study at St George's Hospital in London. In 1757 Hey returned to Leeds and set up in practice. In 1767 he was active in promoting the foundation of Leeds Infirmary and served there as senior surgeon from 1773 to 1812. He was a close friend of Dr Joseph Priestley despite profound religious differences and was proposed by Priestley for membership of the Royal Society. Hey also served as President of the first Leeds Literary and Philosophical Society and was twice Mayor of the town. Hey was a devout Methodist and served as Circuit Steward for many years. He was also a regular worshipper at Leeds Parish Church and was such a staunch opponent of profanity and vice during his time as mayor, that he was burned in effigy by a section of the populace. Source: DNB and Peter S. Forsaith, A Kindled Fire: John and Charles Wesley and the Methodist Revival in the Leeds area (1988), p.6