From Norwich. She trusts that Tooth's health has improved.
Gregson did not receive the benefit from the sea air that she expected. Indeed the warm bath did not agree with her and she was feeling worse when she returned [to Norwich] than she did when she left. She had to remain quiet on the sofa or bed for a considerable part of the day. 'The last attack I had of any consequence went off so suddenly and unexpected that it was impressed upon my mind the Lord heard prayer for me, and I found that at the same time, Sister [Sarah] Boyce had been much drawn out in prayer for me'.
They [Gregson, her sister Ann Francis and Ann's husband Henry] have had a very severe shock here. Gregson's unmarried sister Mary [Twells] came to visit them on November 19 from Diss by coach. She arrived in time for a late tea which they all took together. They went to bed between ten and eleven. Shortly after retiring to her room, Gregson was summoned to Mary's bedside - she had been suddenly seized with a 'spasmatic affection of the heart' and she died twenty minutes later. The medical man who came, said that he could have done nothing for her even if he had been present when the attack took place. Gregson had not had a conversation with Mary for a long time and did not have the opportunity before her death, but Mary had recently spent a day at Saham Toney with Boyce, who reported that she [Boyce] had been pleased with Mary's conversation and judged that she 'was upon the right foundation'. Spiritual matters are discussed.
Gregson sent immediately for her friend Boyce and she was indeed a great comfort to them, staying for two months. Norwich air appeared to agree with her. Indeed, Boyce liked the place and people so well that she expressed a desire to remain here and the Lord opened the way by finding a very proper person to take over Boyce's class. She has therefore rented a very small house and her niece has also moved in to look after her aunt. Boyce has gone back to Saham Toney for a few weeks until she finds a convenient time and good weather to transport her things here.
Boyce was here when Tooth's letter arrived and sends her regards. If Tooth writes to her after 20 February, she should send her letter to Gregson's Norwich address in Calvert Street, St George's.
Gregson heard recently from her friend [Ann] Jordan - she is planning to visit Norfolk next July if all goes well. They would also be happy to see Tooth if the opportunity presents itself. The work is going forward but Gregson feels that they need a 'move'. She sometimes thinks that they are on the verge of a revival but the next step does not appear to happen. They have now begun a small female [underlined] prayer meeting at the preacher's house [Henry Powis - stationed in Norwich] once a week. They are very indebted to Mrs Powis for the opportunity - she is indeed a very pious woman.
Gregson feels that she certainly made the right choice moving from Saham Toney to Norwich. Her tenants are Mr Lake and his family - good tenants but no Methodists. He retired from business for health reasons - London did not agree with him.
- Henry Powis (1789-1879) was born in Wolverhampton. He was converted at the age of nineteen and went on to become a local preacher before entering the itinerancy in 1813. Initially suffering from severe depression over the validity of his call, his doubts were finally removed and he went on to exercise an active circuit ministry in the South and East of England until superannuation in 1860. He retired to Norwich where he had served two ministerial appointments. Powis's wife [Christian name unknown] was an associate of the female evangelists Martha Gregson and Sarah Boyce during her husband's appointment to Norwich between 1831 and 1834. Source: Hill's Arrangement 1878, Minutes of Conference 1879 and Fletcher-Tooth collection.