Sunday 18 May
He took horse at nine in the morning and narrowly escaped a storm by sheltering at the Green [?Newington Green]. He remained there writing to Sarah until the weather improved and drank a full glass of Madeira, which he always carries with him, before setting off again. Halfway between Newington and London he was caught by hail and rain and hurried as fast as he could to [Samuel] Lloyd's house, where he drank some more wine and after dinner walked to Mrs Boult's [in St Christopher's Alley].
The difference in the quality of the air has again made him restless at night.
Monday 19 May
He again called on Dr [John] Fothergill who instructed him to continue taking the medicine and go riding each day, until he is strong enough to travel to take the waters at Bath, Somerset. He advised two hours exercise in the morning and one or two more in the afternoon. Charles then rode to Lewisham and found their good friend Mrs Dewal much improved. Her disorder was very similar to that which Charles has been suffering from and for some days it was feared that she would die. He then spent about an hour with [George] Downing who was carrying an invitation for Charles from Lord and Lady [Dartmouth].
Charles met [Ebenezer Blackwell] and Dr [?Nicholas] Robinson, who has been in attendance on Mrs Dewal. He repeated the advice given to Charles by his medical colleagues.
It rained at intervals but by taking his time Charles was able to reach Bishopsgate Street [London] without mishap.
He lodged at Moorfields [the Foundery] but again got little rest. Dr [John Fothergill] has ordered him to sleep outside the city as much as possible. Mrs Gallatin called and urged him to spend a few days at Ham about fifteen miles away from London, but Charles feels unable to take so long a journey especially in unsettled weather. Anyway, he is averse to giving trouble or receiving obligations. Also, he would be isolated from the assistance of a nurse or apothecary.
Tuesday 20 May
Charles had agreed to dine with Miss Darby but was detained by the rain. [Samuel] Lloyd sent his 'chariot' to pick Charles up, for which he was very obliged. It gave her [Darby] 'an opportunity of opening all her complaints'. He then met with Dr Ford who concurred with the advice he has already received. Ford then went to urge Lady [Huntingdon] to do the same, namely travel to Bath or to paradise.
Wednesday 21 May
He was confined to his lodgings by the rain and felt the effects last night. He was forced to drink some wine to settle his stomach.
Charles felt better this morning and the weather has improved also. He thinks that he will sleep outside the city tonight to further improve his health.
[John] Downes visits him constantly at Mrs Judd's house. She has fully taken the place of the absent Mrs Boult.
Charles's eyes were affected before taking Dr M's medicine but even more so since.
Their sick friend at P. is 'happy indeed'. Charles is willing to live if only because he feels unfit to die.
He sees their sisters very rarely as he does not really have time to visit.
His love should be given to Mr Spencer and anybody else who asks after him.
Sarah should send her letters to the Foundery.
How are Charles junior's double teeth? Sarah says nothing of her own health while Charles fills entire letters with accounts of his own.
- Publication Record: Quoted by Thomas Jackson, The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Vol.2, pp.239-41.
- The Dr Robinson referred to above was probably the Welsh-born Nicholas Robinson (?1697-1775) who was a prominent London physician for almost fifty years from the early 1720s. Source: Dictionary of National Biography.
- William Legge (1731-1801), 2nd Earl of Dartmouth was educated at Westminster School and Oxford. He occupied several high political positions including President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for the Colonies during the American War of Independence. He apparently possessed little administrative ability but was admired for his honest and amiable nature. A close friend of the Countess of Huntingdon, his attachment to the Methodists earned him the nickname of 'The Psalmsinger'. Source: Dictionary of National Biography.
- George Downing was an Anglican clergyman who was involved on the fringes of the Evangelical movement. He was chaplain to the Earl of Dartmouth Source: Dr Frank Baker, John Wesley and the Church of England (1970), p.184.