- Samuel Walker (1714-61) was one of the most important of the early Anglican Evangelicals. His ministry as the Curate of Truro was remarkably successful, and was regarded by John Wesley as the only exception to the rule that no lasting good could be achieved by restricting work to one parish. Despite his fervent opposition to lay-preaching, there was considerable mutual respect between Walker and the Wesleys. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism, 1974, and Kenneth Hylson-Smith, Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984, 1988.
- John Rawdon (1720-93) was the son of a Yorkshire baronet. He was educated at Trinity College Dublin and was created Baron Rawdon of Moira in 1750 and Earl of Moira in 1762. He was married to his cousin Elizabeth Hastings, daughter of the Countess of Huntingdon. Source: H. A. Doubleday and Howard de Walden, The Complete Peerage (1936), Volume 9.
From [Walter] Shirley in Loughrea, Ireland, to the Horsefair, Bristol [the New Room]. He has such a severe rheumatic disorder in his head and stomach that he can read but little and write even less.
The love which Shirley feels for Charles Wesley seems to be getting stronger every day. John Wesley informs him that Charles Wesley is feeling better and Shirley believes that the Lord has answered his prayers on Charles Wesley's behalf.
He rejoices also at [Dr John] Jones's recovery and has remembered [Samuel] Walker in his family prayers, that God may restore him to health and bless his work with even greater success than previously.
Shirley should be pleased beyond measure at God granting him the ability to preach extempore, especially as with his health problems he would never be able to write down a sermon for every Sunday. He hardly ever feels well except in the pulpit or during his lectures. He has also been recently afflicted with many problems, but remains steadfast in his faith. Spiritual matters are discussed.
He is very pleased at [John] Fletcher's appointment [to the Shropshire parish of Madeley], and is sure that his ministry there will be blessed.
Shirley's hopes for the greater prosperity of God's Church have been raised by the 'blessed dispositions that appear in our young monarch' [King George III].
His sister is grateful for Charles Wesley's kind enquiries after her, and begs that he write to her also. Shirley doubts that her physical health is as bad than she thinks, and attributes much of her mental and physical infirmity to her weak relationship with God. Charles Wesley should of course be discreet.
He loves [Sarah] Wesley for Charles Wesley's sake as well as her own.
The report of his changing parishes was unfounded. Dear Lady Huntingdon appears to have forgotten him. He has written to her three times and received just one reply. He will not however be discouraged from writing to her again.
Lord [John] Rawdon's letter contains a sharp and just reproof to the Bishop. Shirley has sent it according to Charles Wesley's wishes.
He is sure that John Wesley will excuse his not writing to him before the next post. John Wesley talks of Charles Wesley taking a long journey next Spring, and if this proves to be the case, they could certainly do with Charles Wesley's assistance here [Ireland].