- The Evangelical clergyman John Berridge was Vicar of Everton in Bedfordshire from 1755 until his death in 1793. He met John Wesley in 1758 and the two became good friends. Berridge undertook preaching tours in the midlands, and invited John Wesley to preach in his church on several occasions. The two later disagreed after Berridge switched his allegiance to Calvinism and attacked the Wesleys in print. The rift widened when Berridge published a collection of hymns in 1760, including several by the Wesleys, which he had altered to reflect Calvinist views. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974), and Kenneth Hylson Smith, Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984 (1988), pp.43-44.
From John Jones in Harwich, to Chesterfield Street, London. He was greatly disturbed by the account of the recent disturbances [Gordon riots] in London. There are certainly people in this country, who are ripe for 'anarchy and confusion'. He doubts the ability of the government to detect the original instigator of it all.
It would give them great pleasure to see Charles here. Jones has been suffering from indifferent health since his return to Harwich.
He will not say that he has never attempted to compose a hymn, but since he read Charles Wesley's works when he [Jones] first came to London, he has never succeeded in writing one. Would the world have been the loser if [John] Berridge had followed his example?
Jones was very grateful for Wesley's translation of the epitaph for Miss Louth.
He has told [John Wesley] again and again that the only reason why Jones took the step that he did [leaving the itinerancy to join the Anglican ministry] was because of ill health. He loves and esteems the Wesleys as much as ever. He has spoken of them at length to his predecessor in this parish and feels that he has caused him to abandon some of his prejudices. He has never attempted to deny his association with the Wesleys, and indeed discussed it with the late Archbishop of Canterbury and the late Bishop of Lincoln, who ordained him as a deacon. But if John will not believe him what more can he do?
He cannot immediately give up the school, but wishes to have as little to do with it as possible. If he does give it up entirely, he will have difficulty in finding a house. He is aware that Charles is rather surprised by this, but if he were to spend time here, he would appreciate the difficulties. Jones does have a house and some land at Romsey, but is afraid that the air would not suit his wife.
Jones would be very pleased to hear from Charles on a regular basis. He is rather depressed that he felt compelled in his poor health, to follow this course of action.
His respects should be given to John when Charles next writes. Jones read in last night's Gazette that Charlestown [North America] has surrendered. He wishes that a suitable peace [in the war of American Independence] could be worked out. The lack of unity in England is alarming - 'all reverence to superiors is almost lost among us, and what must be the end of this?'
His wife [Sally] sends her regards.
[ The Gordon riots erupted in London in June 1780, as a result of the support of the urban mob for Lord George Gordon's attempts to repeal Catholic relief legislation. They were among the worse disturbances seen in the capital, and were only crushed after the deployment of twenty thousand troops, and the loss of three hundred lives. Source: Entry in the Dictionary of National Biography for Lord George Gordon.]