Scope and Content

From Mary Walker in Bristol to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. It is with great pleasure that she sends this letter to someone who she has loved and honoured for many years. Walker's trials continue very grievous - 'notwithstanding Mr W[alker] has through divine mercy been enabled to form a connection with several merchants ... and they are erecting large works for making brass, brass wire etc, and already have six spelter furnaces in full work, he is still the same evil [unreadable word] and desponding man - his language such as I am firmly persuaded you have never heard [unreadable word], and in consequence of which, my youngest child, a boy 5 years old, will at times use the same ... I am grieved to correct him so frequently and so severely as the case requires ...'

Walker has decided to publish a small poem, written some years ago, and perhaps use the profit to send the boy away to remove him from this malign influence. She has started to raise a subscription and as the name of Fletcher is dear to every serious mind, Walker would consider it an honour to add her name to the list. Walker has solicited the honour of dedicating the work to the Duchess of York [Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia] - she thinks that Her Royal Highness is a character worthy of such a dedication. The Duke of York [Prince Frederick, son of King George III] has asked her to send the manuscript to his chaplain for inspection, which she has done, and hopes that the dedication will be approved.

Walker was very grateful to receive the 'much esteemed favour' via Mr Gilbert. It has encouraged her much to go in the way of the Lord. Spiritual matters are discussed.

A transcript of the proposed published poem is included

Walker's eyes and neck are troubling her, so she will now conclude, with a list of the subscribers, who have already made a commitment. She must also beg Fletcher's pardon for not paying the postage on this letter, but her husband sometimes leaves her just one shilling to get through the day while he is out at his work