Letter

Scope and Content

From Lincoln Castle, to Bishop William Wake of Lincoln, informing him of Wesley's imprisonment for debt. He was arrested in his own churchyard on the instructions of Mr Pindar (a friend of Mr Whichcott) over a debt of almost £30. They knew of 'the burning of my flax, my London journey, and their throwing me out of my regiment' [Wesley's chaplaincy in the militia], but this did not sway them. Despite his offer to discuss the matter he was taken immediately to the Castle, where he has 'found much more civility and satisfaction' than in his own parish. Susanna has fortunately recovered after her pregnancy, and has reacted with that 'courage which becomes her'. They have also been threatened with eviction.

He is optimistic that he can do some good work in prison,as he is at liberty to read prayers twice a day, and to preach once on a Sunday. He intends writing to the Society for the Propogation of Christian Knowledge for copies of books to distribute among his fellow inmates.

The day before Wesley 'was preferred to this Benefice', he met a young clergyman named Vincent, who is living with Mr Ashburn, the minister at Crowl. Vincent has been looking after the chapel at East-Toft, and is very keen to take Holy Orders. Wesley can testify to his good character.

[Note: An almost identical letter to the above, addressed to the Archbishop of York and bearing the same date, is printed in Adam Clarke's Memorials of the Wesley Family, Volume 1, page 213-214.]