Copy letter from Birmingham to the Missionary Committee in answer to their official letter. Coke is pleased that the missions in the West Indies will enjoy the same freedom of action as other dissenters. Reference is made to previous persecutions on Nevis, St Vincent, Antigua and Barbados.
He denies that he ever undertook to pay for the African work out of his own pocket, despite what the Liverpool and Birmingham preachers seem to think. Coke has already in 1811 spent 01,200 more than his annual income, and is having to sell annuities to meet his commitments. He still stands by his pledge to settle L1,000 per annum on the Preachers' Fund, at a time dependent on the terms of his marriage settlement, which has still to be drawn up. Moreover, he emphasizes that for the sake of his wife's comfort, all loans of money must be repaid.
With regard to the French Mission, Coke intends that Mr Olivier of the Channel Islands should join Mr Toase in his labours among the French prisoners, concentrating on Plymouth, Plymouth Dock, Mill Prison and Dartmoor. No time should be lost, as Mr Brogue of Gosport, Hampshire, is planning to start his own mission there. The Governor of Mill Prison, Captain Pellowe, is reported to be sympathetic. The money will be raised by Coke himself without recourse to the General Fund.
He is making good progress on his report on the West Indian Missions, prepared at the Committee's request, although he objects strongly to being distracted from fund-raising. Moreover the Committee should not require him to write such long replies to their letters.
[Original in the archives of the Methodist Missionary Society , reference Home C box 1.]