From Abraham Watmough at Newent to Mary Tooth in Madeley. This letter is in fulfillment of a promise that he made to report on the results of the work that Watmough carried out in the Whitchurch and Wrexham circuits. The total of the 'receipts' was Â£7.1.3. He is sure that the people would willingly have given more, had it been in their power to do so.
Tooth also asked for news of Mr Hook. 'The man has taken the money which we had got, but has still a demand upon him for near Â£60 and is anxious to have it; but I hope he will use no severe measures to obtain it. Mr Hook however, is a little fearful, and has no refuge but God ... for though it is a sum that would be nothing to some, it would be ruinous to Mr H[ook] in his present circumstances, if he were obliged to pay it. His children are numerous ... I believe he says true when he tells me that "to make all things meet, we are obliged to live as near as we can, if we must keep body and soul together".'
Watmough has some bad news to report also concerning the finances of this circuit. The circuit is in such poor financial straits that Watmough has been unable to obtain anything from the 'quarter board'. This is distressing on the personal front, but he is even more concerned 'lest it should induce the Conference to make a still greater reduction from our number of preachers and so withold from the few that are truly pious the ministry of that precious word of God's grace ...' but having done all they can, they must commit the governance of the Church on earth to God. Spiritual matters are discussed.
He hopes that they are prospering at Madeley. When he compares the state of religion in Tooth's circuit with its condition in this circuit [Hereford], 'the emotions of my heart are such as cannot well be described'. He wishes that he were away from this benighted region, but he is not his own master and such is his ignorance, he would not guide himself right. It was God who sent him here.
Reference is made to Mrs Hasewell and her daughter's illness. Watmough also mentions Tooth's sister Rosamund. Spiritual matters are discussed.
Watmough has sent the parcel to Hereford for Miss Thomas - it is probably at Kington by now. He has not had the opportunity of delivering the other parcel yet. Watmough would have been happy to have called on Tooth, but Mr [Cuthbert] Whiteside was not willing that he should leave Shrewsbury. Should Watmough ever come their way again, Tooth can be sure that he will call. His respects should be passed to all at Madeley, especially Mr [John] Hodson and Mr [David] Cornforth. Watmough's wife joins in sending regards to Tooth and her sister.
- Abraham Watmough (1787-1863) was born in Rochdale, Lancashire. He was converted at thge age of seventeen by a sermon of the Wesleyan minister Alexander Suter and entered the itinerancy in 1811. His active circuit ministry was exercised in England and the Isle of Man until superannuation due to failing health in 1856. He spent his final years in St Helens, Lancashire. Source: Minutes of Conference 1863 and Hill's Arrangement 1862
- Cuthbert Whiteside (1774-1837) entered the itinerancy in 1798 and exercised an active circuit ministry until superannuation due to ill health to Retford in 1832. Source: Minutes of Conference 1837 and Hill's Arrangement 1833
- David Cornforth (1786-1855) David Cornforth was born at Brompton in Yorkshire, the son of Methodist parents. He entered the itinerancy in 1814 and exercised an active circuit ministry until superannuation to Bristol in 1850. Source: Minutes of Conference 1856 and Hill's Arrangement 1853
- John Hodson (1765-1832) was born at Seighford near Stafford. He was converted at the age of 26, joined the Methodist society and after spending some years as a class leader and local preacher, entered the itinerancy in 1797. His active circuit ministry was spent in Wales, the Midlands and the South of England. He caught a severe cold while stationed in the Shaftesbury circuit and this led to his death on 8 October 1832. Source: Minutes of Conference 1833 and Hill's Arrangement 1827