From Henrietta Roberts in Wellington to Mary Tooth at Jacob Stanley’s, the Methodist Chapel in Dudley. They do not know if Tooth has been made acquainted with the proceedings of ‘your last quarter day’. Mr [John] Roberts was only informed of it yesterday through Mr V. [Valentine?] Ward, who told Mr Taylor. It appears that there was a great deal of opposition to Mr Roberts being appointed to that circuit. Mr John Ward told his cousin that the majority were against Roberts, that he had never been properly invited and that it was determined that he ‘should be put down’ and petitioned against. It would be unpleasant to oppose the wishes of the majority and Mr Roberts has therefore decided to abandon the notion at once as it would be a serious mark against him in the eyes of the Conference if the majority of the people of Madeley were opposed to his appointment to the circuit. ‘What strange conduct that those very persons (out of whose family Mr R. had the first intimations of their wishes towards him) should now be his inveterate foes; however it is a great consolation to him that it is not against him as an individual they object… no, it is against those who have shown an attachment to him…’ As for Tooth’s kindness towards them, Henrietta and her husband will always remember. As for their enemies, they will pray for them especially as they believe that they are strangers to ‘vital religion’. Reference is made to Mr [George] Russell’s duplicity.
Perhaps Mr Jacob Stanley ‘will remember Mr R. - in that district there are several vacancies…’. [Jacob Stanley was stationed in Dudley In 1828 and 1829] It would be beneficial to have as short a removal as possible from their present circuit, especially for the sake of Henrietta’s health. Her husband has refused a third year in this circuit and has also turned down an invitation to Hinckley. The Lord will direct.
They will expect a letter from Tooth as soon as possible after her arrival in London to attend the Conference. Roberts has sent a letter to [William] Moulton by this post stating their position – it is just as well that he was warned beforehand of the news from the Madeley quarterly meeting as it would otherwise have been most distressing.
Tooth will at all times occupy a special place in their affections and it would have given them immense pleasure to have seen her again, but her stay in London will prevent that. They earnestly wish that Tooth might have a ‘minister not awed or moved by the threatening of any man…’
- Jacob Stanley (1776-1851) was born at Alnwick, Northumberland. He was converted at the age of eleven and after moving to London, began to preach locally. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1797 and exercised an active circuit ministry for fifty years. Stanley served as President of Conference in 1845. He was an opponent of the dominance of Jabez Bunting. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism(1974) and Methodist Magazine 1851, 913-914.
- Valentine Ward (1781-1835) was born at Madeley in Shropshire. He was converted at the age of nineteen under the influence of a sermon preached by the Wesleyan minister Samuel Taylor and he entered the ministry himself in 1801. His Circuit ministry was spent in England and Scotland until 1832 when he volunteered for the West Indies mission. He died on March 26 1835 at Montego Bay in Jamaica. Ward is described in his Conference obituary as imprudent in some of his chapel building plans. He was a staunch supporter of overseas missions and Negro emancipation. Source: Hill's Arrangement 1832 andMinutes of Conference 1835
- George Russell (1778-1834) entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1802. His circuit ministry was exercised in England and Wales. His death followed a long period of ill health. Russell was stationed in Madeley in 1827 and 1828. Source: Hill's Arrangement 1827 and Minutes of Conference 1834