Scope and Content

From Anne Tripp in Leeds to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. She cannot express how thankful she is for the kind and unexpected favour of receiving Fletcher's letter. She never expected to have the benefit of staying under Fletcher's roof and most willingly therefore, does she accept Fletcher's invitation, as long as the Lord permits her to have sufficient health to make the journey. She is sure that their meeting once more in the body will prove to be a great blessing to the soul.

Tripp has found that through divine mercy her health has been much better this summer than for the three years previous, although she still feels an 'inward' weakness and has suffered lately with a cough, which she hopes that the journey and change of air will mend.

Miss Rhodes sends her love and thanks for Fletcher's kind permission and will gladly accompany Tripp to Madeley. They hope to reach Fletcher about the end of the second week in August. They will fit in with Fletcher's desires regarding accommodation.

Miss Ritchie is still at Otley. She had sent her clothes on ahead of her and would have left herself but her sister sent her word asking her to stay with her 'after she was brought to bed; as it did not suit either of her own sisters to be with her yet'. Tripp expects that she will set off in about a week or two, but has not heard for certain.

They have not heard anything particular about Mr Taylor lately, but according to Fletcher's request have sent £1.13s to "help her wife in her business" and also £1.1s to Charles Gilson and John Coates.

Tripp has delayed finishing her letter in the hope that she will hear from Miss [Elizabeth] Ritchie. Miss Rhodes has just received a letter from Ritchie in which she says that she wishes 'to become a fellow traveller with us, but cannot make it convenient to set off before Thursday the 9th.' Ritchie has committed to stopping for a day or two in Derby and does not think that Mrs Dobinson would like them to go forward without her. Ritchie proposes leaving Derby on Monday, arrive in Birmingham on the same night 'and provided the Shifnall coach is not full, we may reach Madeley on Tuesday'. Tripp has not yet told anyone here of her intended journey, other than Miss Ritchie, and will not do so until nearer the time of her departure.

Her dearest friend [Sarah Crosby] joins in sending love and asks to be remembered to all her friends in Madeley.

In a postscript, she asks that their love be passed to Sally [Lawrence].



  • Mrs Dobinson (1725-1803) was one of the first Methodists in Derby. Originally resident in London,she is said to have come under religious influence after her marriage in 1753. The final stage in the conversion process was achieved after hearing a sermon by the evangelical minister William Romaine in 1758. She subsequently attended class meetings at the Foundery and became a close friend of Sarah Crosby. In 1761 the Dobinsons accompanied Crosby when she moved to Derby, with the specific intention of introducing Methodism to the town. Dobinson served as a class leader and visitor to the sick and dying for the rest of her life. She died on April 12 1803 after a long period of ill health. In keeping with her background, she was buried at the Anglican parish church and had a funeral sermon preached at the Methodist chapel. Source: Methodist Magazine 1803, pp.557-566, and article entitled "Early Methodism in Derby", from the magazine Christian Miscellany, December 1870