Letter

Scope and Content

From Henrietta Fordyce in Bath, Somerset, to Great Woodstock Street, London, acknowledging receipt of her letter, which she has just read while Mrs Lyon made her a dish of tea.

She returned this morning from a stay in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire in pouring rain with nothing to eat except some cold fowl washed down with some port wine. She thanks God that she is now sitting down in front of a fire surrounded by the comforts of her own home.

She found that Cheltenham was full of the best people both 'of rank and of rational improvement including piety to Gode. There were several Scottish people there of the Presbyterian Church, including Lady Ross-Bailey, and the daughters of the late Lord Duncan [Admiral Lord Duncan of Camperdown]. They attended a meeting at which Revd Williams from Wales preached a sermon to raise funds for the maintenance of the minister, and was gratified to see the collection plate so full. The sermon was very good, although Dr [Edward] Sheppard 'would not have reckoned it sufficiently mystick'. She is disappointed that she did not have the opportunity of hearing Revd Evans speak before he left town, as she is an admirer of Evans's 'useful sketch of all religions in the known worlde, which work she found remarkably free from all predjudice.

She describes in detail his impressions of the town of Cheltenham, mentioning among other things the flatness of the land, and the new civic improvements, which go some way toward compensating for the unhealthy air.

Sally and 'little Charly' are missed, and she often thinks of Sarah Wesley.

She feels that Charles's musical voluntaries are unsurpassed in expression, and passion. One lady of her acquaintance called Mrs Lyon is possessed of a fine singing voice, and could benefit from instruction from Charles. She used to be a pupil of Mr Siene. She goes on to discuss in detail the problems of matching a voice with a song.

Mr Siene is in London at the moment. Does Charles know him? Reference is made to the recent marriage of Siene to a daughter of the late Revd Field. A visit by Mrs Arundel and the Siene family is described in detail.

Fordyce shall introduce Sally to the Townsends at the first opportunity.