Letter

Scope and Content

From Ann Tripp in Leeds [postmark], to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. Yesterday she received Fletcher's kind letter with the half bank note for £10 enclosed - this shall be spent in accordance with Fletcher's wish. Tripp will write to Crossley's soon and inform them when they can expect it - they were here two or three weeks ago to enquire about it. Tripp expects that [Sarah] Crosby will mention it in her letter to Fletcher, before the arrival of this letter. Tripp thinks that T. Atkinson is in Cumberland at present. As soon as he has returned, she will let him know. She hopes that she will never think anything is too much trouble to do for such a kind friend and benefactor.

Tripp was very thankful to read in Fletcher's letter that she is in tolerable health. She has been very much on Tripp's mind for some days and she sincerely feels for her at this season [the first anniversary of the death of John Fletcher], which she was afraid would renew her grief. 'But your heavenly husband still lives and will satisfy the most enlarged desires of your soul.' It will only be a short time and then they will join their friends that have gone before.

Tripp hoped that Mary's uncle Claude [Bosanquet] would have left her a good sum of money in his will, but it is well that she does not depend on 'an arm of flesh. It is a mercy indeed that your foreign affairs turn out so well. Miss Hay's death was very particular'.

Sarah Crosby has been in Scarborough for nearly a fortnight. Tripp supposes that she has written to Fletcher before now. She assumes that Crosby will go on to Whitby before coming back to Leeds. Miss Tindall's invitation and several other things coincided to 'make the way plain'. Hopefully, it will be beneficial to Crosby's health, which has been very poor for some time. Tripp misses her a great deal and looks forward to her return.

Tripp's own health has been worse this spring and summer since any time since she came to Leeds, but thanks be to God, she has been better for some weeks past. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

She expected that Miss [Elizabeth] Ritchie will have arrived with Fletcher by now. Tripp heard that she had written to Mr Smith that she would be with Fletcher sometime this month. If she is there, Tripp sends her regards.

Tripp supposes that Fletcher has heard the news that Mr Salmon has married his maidservant. 'I am thankful the Lord has heard prayer in behalf of the poor woman. We have had almost such an instance in this town, but the Lord has restored her.' Fletcher did not mention that she had a 'sight[ing?]' of [Sarah] Ryan and dear [John] Fletcher. They have often wished here for a lock of his hair mixed with Mary's - that would be very acceptable and they would be very grateful if Mary could send one.

She has not seen Sister Taylor lately, but hears that she is quite well and living in Morley. Has Fletcher heard anything about brother Taylor? - he writes to his wife sometimes, but she never shows them the letters and appears to know little about him. Some people think that he is preaching, but not among the Methodists.

She must now conclude the letter or she will miss the post. She is sorry for the mistakes in this letter - she has been interrupted so often that she has been scarcely aware of what she has been writing.

Tripp almost forgot to mention that she hopes that the account of dear Mr Fletcher's journeys etc 'will not fall to the ground', but that either Mr [John] Wesley will publish them with his proposed life, or that Mary will publish them herself with the picture. Her love should be passed to Sarah Lawrance.

Note

Notes

  • Miss Tindall may have a family connection with Mary Tindall (1770-1838) of Robin Hood's Bay near Whitby in Yorkshire. Mary Tindall was the sister of the Wesleyan minister Robert Newton, but there may be an association by marriage with the Miss Tindall referred to in the Fletcher-Tooth letter. Source: Methodist Magazine 1838, 158
  • Elizabeth Ritchie (1754-1835) was born in Otley, Yorkshire, daughter of a naval surgeon. Ritchie's parents were Methodists and John Wesley often stayed at their home. As a young woman, Ritchie attended her local parish church and regarded Methodism with some hostility. Converted in 1772 she was soon appointed a class leader and became influential in the Otley Methodist society as a teacher and spiritual advisor. After 1780 she traveled quite extensively 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 the preacher Sarah Crosby. In 1801 she 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)
  • Sarah Lawrance (1756-1800) was the niece of John Wesley's housekeeper Sarah Ryan, one of a circle of female Methodists that included Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher and Sarah Crosby. Lawrance was raised from a very early age in the orphanage established by Bosanquet-Fletcher, a women with whom she enjoyed virtually a mother-daughter relationship. She was effectively converted by the age of ten and was accepted into the Leeds Methodist Society at the age of eighteen. A year later she was confirmed into the Church of England. Lawrance spent much of her life within the Bosanquet-Fletcher household where she played a very active role in the work of the Methodist Societies. She had a particular gift for working with children and was accustomed to exhort and pray in public. Lawrance enjoyed a considerable reputation for saintliness of character. Source: Methodist Magazine 1803, 160-167, and unpublished "Account of Sarah Lawrance" by Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher in the Fletcher-Tooth collection (MARC)