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DDCW - Charles Wesley Papers

Letter (n.d.)

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/76
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 76

Scope and Content

To S W. Her illness would overwhelm him 'were I not assured that it shall work together for your good; & enhance your happiness throughout all eternity…the slightest suffering (received from Him) is an inestimable blessing, another jewel added to our crown'.

He is sure that she follows her mother's advice in this matter and all things, and he looks forward to seeing her healthy in all respects a week on Wednesday. His satisfaction would be greatly increased by seeing dear Rod [Roderick Gwynne] at the same time.

He hopes that Sarah will allow him to envy [Molly Leyson] 'if the time of her departure is indeed at hand. Surely she is taken from the evil to come'.

Yesterday he and his brother parted in a very friendly manner from their friends [the Perronet family] in Shoreham, Kent. They all enquired after Sarah especially [Vincent Perronet].

Mrs Blackwell, Mrs Dewal, [Thomas] Butts, and many others also send their regards.

[ Note: Note Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.191-192. ]


Letter ([1 Dec 1753] )

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/77
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 77

Scope and Content

From the Foundery, London, to S W in Charles Street, Bristol. In company with [John Hutchinson] he arrived here yesterday 'after an easy prosperous journey'. [J W] is at Lewisham, Kent, and is apparently much better, although still in danger 'being far gone & very suddenly in a consumption'. Charles cannot acquit his friends of unpardonable neglect in not informing him of his brother's condition, but rather allowing him to find out by chance. He will hurry to his brother's side tomorrow morning, leaving his 'patient' [John Hutchinson] at Mrs Boult's house, where he is sleeping at the Green Room. Charles is spending the night at Sister [?Bilb.] Aspernal's house.

This letter should be sent immediately to Sister [?Mary] Jones, so that she can see that the preaching appointment at Wick near Bristol is filled on Monday night. Charles had previously passed word that either he or [John] Jones would preach there. Frank [Francis] Walker or whoever supplies their place should inform the Society of the reason for the change in plan.

His love should be given to Sister Bell, [Anne] Vigor, John James, [Friend] Hamilton, and Mrs Galatin etc. [John Hutchinson] 'sends his _ to L. H. [Lady Huntingdon], desiring an interest in her prayers'.

At the bottom of the above letter is a note from John Hutchinson to Sister Bell. He thinks that he arrived here less tired than did C W. He will remain here until he has further information about J W's condition.

His love should be given to [Sarah] Wesley, his godson, [Anne] Vigor, Mr and Mrs Jones, and Mr Hamilton.

[ Note: Notes Bilb. Aspernal is listed in the early membership lists of the Foundery Society Source: George John Stevenson, City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Memorial (1872), p.29ff. Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.192. ]


Letter (3 Dec [1753])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/78
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 78

Scope and Content

From London to S W in Charles Street, Bristol, hoping that she has recovered from her fright. J W may yet live 'if he hastens to Bristol'. Whatever happens Charles will remain stationed here until Christmas.

Charles and [John Hutchinson] travelled here without a single argument, although they came very close 'thro my returning ye watch'. [Hutchinson] had a restless first night at the 'noisy Foundery'. Last night [Samuel] Lloyd tried to persuade him to stay at Lloyd's house in Devonshire Square, but Hutchinson could not be persuaded. Only time will show if Hutchinson will return to Bristol with Charles, or if he will travel with Bell 'to die at Leeds'.

J W yesterday asked that his wife [the former Mary Vazeille] and Charles be reconciled to which they agreed.

[Ebenezer] Blackwell assures him that Mr L's [?Samuel Lloyd] security is impeccable. What does Sarah therefore think of the idea of working with Mr J_Anson to settle the affair? She should write by the first post to the Foundery.

Mrs [Blackwell] and Mrs [Dewal] send 'a loving heart. They have but one you know between them'.

Charles's 'patient' [John Hutchinson] sends his love to Sarah, their son Jacky, and to Bell. Regards should also be given to Mrs Galatin, who Charles assumes is now staying at the Wesley's house.

His greetings should also be given to [Anne] Vigor, T. H., John and Sarah James etc. Dudy Perronet and [Samuel] Lloyd send their love.

Charles will consult with Dr Fothergill.

They will spend next Friday in prayer for J W, meeting at five, seven, ten, and one.

His love should be given to 'dear' George, if he is with Sarah. What is the news from Wales?

?Mr Naylor will send Sarah six guineas - 'Observe, we lose a guinea a week till the security & trust are settled'.

As he is busy with his brother's works as well as his own, he has no time for idleness.

If 'poor Bell] is still with Sarah, then she should be comforted, and if she has returned to Bath, Somerset, then Sarah should write to her.

[John] Jones has just arrived fit and well.

Charles's love should be given to Frank [Francis] Walker. Who is acting as Sarah's chaplain now? When there is nobody available she should read the prayers for herself as was the practice of Charles's mother among others.

What God's intentions are he does not know, except to say that he is convinced he will not long outlive his brother.

In a postscript he states that he cannot find the copy of the marriage settlement, which is strange as he certainly copied it before leaving Bristol. Sarah should have a look for it in the drawers. In the meantime they will take out a bond.

[ Note: Note Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.193-194. ]


Letter (3 Aug [1754])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/79
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 79

Scope and Content

From Lakenham near Norwich to S W at Marmaduke Gwynne's house in Brecon. This is the last letter that she will receive from him, before she writes back. 'If YOUR HEART persuades you to leave Father, Mother, Nurse [Grace Bowen], & sisters for me', she should lose no time in travelling to Bristol, and after she has rested there sufficiently, catch the 'machine' to London and Norwich. The change of air will do her good and her being with Charles should benefit her soul.

This last month has been the best time that he has spent for some years, and he longs to have Sarah there to share in the spiritual blessings.

He can promise her more of his time here than almost anywhere else, as he has several useful books which he has avoided reading until she arrives.

Sarah should if possible visit [the Countess of Huntingdon], who is recovering from a late illness as well as Mrs Grinfield and [Mary] Degge.

In a postscript he mentions that Mrs Galatin is longing to see her.

[ Note: Note Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.194-195. ]


Letter ()

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/80
GB 133 Former reference:

Scope and Content

Missing letter from Charles to S W dated 29 August [1754] from Norwich.

[ Note: Notes Noted as being removed in January 1921 and exchanged for three other items with D. Watkinson. Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.195. . ]


Letter (27 Sep [1756])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/81
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 81

Scope and Content

From Leeds, Yorkshire, to [S W in Charles Street, Bristol]. Yesterday Charles was very surprised indeed to see William Shent in Rotherham. He had arrived there before Charles and seemed all the better for his journey [from Bristol]. He asked that his love and gratitude be given to Sarah, the doctor, and [Anne] Vigor for taking care of him during his recent illness.

If Charles can find time to transcribe his journal, it will give Sarah details of his successful travels, which ended here this evening for the present anyway. On Tuesday [28 September] he proposes accompanying Dr Cockburn to York - that gentleman has waited here this week for that purpose. Sarah may direct her next two letters here.

He finds that the fever has much abated in this place.

It will be time to talk of his return after his visits to York, Haworth, and Manchester etc.

Mr Smith should have been more punctual.

If Sarah's movements depend so much upon those of Mrs Gwynne [her mother] 'you will be as uncertain as the wind. I should be glad to hear yt you had fastened some good impressions on her'.

He left 'honest' [John] Downes to preach in Rotherham.

Sarah should 'put them in mind of us at Clifton'.

His love should be given to Suky [Susanna], Mrs James, and their other Christian friends.

[?John] Jones should write 'how yr affairs stand'. Monday morning [27 September]

Sarah should not worry about borrowing money if their Welsh rents are delayed.

Yesterday he had the honour of preaching twice in a church. The rest of the day was filled up with preaching twice more at Leeds, exhorting the Society, and assisting in administering the sacraments.

Sarah should tell [the Countess of Huntingdon] that he had 'sweet fellowship with her little church at Ashby [de-le-Zouch, Leicestershire]; & was with her in the garden & house'. [Benjamin] Ingham is away, yet Charles hopes to soon be able to deliver his [Charles's] letter to Lady Margaret [the wife of Benjamin Ingham and sister-in-law of the Countess of Huntingdon].

Mrs Grinfield should be reminded of her promise to accompany the Wesleys on their journey in the spring.

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.195-196. Dr Cockburn is referred to by John Lyth as an old schoolfriend of Charles Wesley. He was sympathetic towards Methodism and contributed £100 toward the cost of erecting a chapel in York in 1759. Source: John Lyth, Glimpses of Early Methodism in York (1885), pp.83,86-87,90. The clergyman Benjamin Ingham was a member of the Holy Club at Oxford University and later accompanied the Wesleys to Georgia. In 1739 he began evangelising his native Yorkshire, enjoying great success. In 1742 he placed his societies under Moravian control, but later separated from them and founded his own Inghamite Church, a vestige of which still survives. He was close to the Wesleys on a personal level, but differed from them on several doctrinal points. In 1741 he married Lady Margaret Hastings, a daughter of the Earl of Huntingdon, and sister-in-law of the famous Countess of Huntingdon. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974). ]


Letter ([?Sep 1756])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/82
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 82

Scope and Content

From York to S W [in Bristol]. She has the affection of many people here '& the Lord hath in this city much people'. Next week Charles will return to Leeds, Birstal, and Haworth, but first he must see the people here once more.

What does she say to promoting the good work by spending the winter here? She could stay at Dr Cockburn's house. The doctor and his wife are people after the Wesleys' own heart. She should give her answer by the first post - William Shent can go to escort her. Charles himself is prepared to meet her half-way as far as Evesham in Worcestershire if necessary.

Coal here is very cheap and they therefore keep good fires.

[ Note: Note Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.197. ]


Letter (7 Jan 1755)

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/83
GB 133 Former reference:

Scope and Content

From Brecon to S W, re the death of her old nurse [Grace Bowen]. Charles rode hard to see her before she died last Thursday but arrived too late. He is writing this in haste to assure her of his good health and that of all her friends here.

A single verse of a poem appears at the beginning of the letter, the first line of which is 'Tis finished, tis done'. At the end of the letter is two verses the first line of which is 'Hail the sad memorable day'. He describes the two verses as 'imperfect'.

[ Note: Notes Annotated in pencil [by Thomas Jackson] to the effect that 'Hail the sad memorable day' was written to mark the first anniversary of the death of the Wesleys' first-born son Jacky, who died in infancy. Annotated by Sarah Wesley - 'Of my dear Nurse's death. Mr Wesley wrote ys letter'. Publication Record: 'Hail the sad memorable day' is transcribed by S T Kimbrough, and Oliver Beckerlegge, The Unpublished Poetry of Charles Wesley (1988), Volume 3. p.330. ]


Letter (10 Jan [1755])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/84
GB 133 Former reference:

Scope and Content

From Brecon to S W [in London], describing in detail the Christian death of Sarah's old nurse [Grace Bowen]. More details will be given in the hymns which Charles is writing.

Poor Rebecca Gwynne has lost her only friend, but is very happy with Charles.

The Society here is flourishing. He spent an hour with Howell Harris to their mutual satisfaction, and will spend Monday with him and his wife, 'who was ready to eat me up for joy'.

Tomorrow he dines at Garth, and on Sunday is to preach at Builth Wells, Maesmynis, another church on the way to Brecon, and then at Brecon in the evening. The people here prevent him from getting idle.

[John] Jones returns to Bristol tomorrow, and Charles will follow him on Tuesday. They had a very tedious three hour passage across the Severn estuary. It was just as well that Sarah was not with them.

How is Sarah getting on at the square [?Devonshire Square, London]?, and how are all their friends?

His love should be passed to Colonel and Mrs [?Gumley], [Mrs Dewal], and Miss Derby.

Charles supposes that Sarah is 'thinking ere now to remove'. He hopes to find her well in [Devonshire Square, London] towards the end of the month. When are their friends to visit Bath, Somerset? Sarah's parents and sister Rebecca send them their regards.

Friday 1 pm

He has just returned from preaching to the prisoners. Sarah's letter refreshed him with the news of her good health, excepting her rheumatism. [Mrs] Gumley [Sarah's hostess in London] is very kind - 'She keeps good hours…whatever the YOUNG RAKES do. I am sorry there are no signs…of their decamping'.

Reference is made to the happy death of Grace Bowen - 'I am half impatient to be with her'.

On Thursday he proposes writing to her from Bristol - 'my letter may welcome you to your old lodgings'.

[ Note: Notes Annotated by Sarah Wesley - 'The account of my dr Nurse's happy death'. Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.198-199. The Hymn 'On the death of Mrs Grace Bowen' is transcribed by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.323-327. ]


Letter (14 Jan [1755])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/85
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 85

Scope and Content

From Brecon to S W [in Devonshire Square, London], hoping that she has left her cough behind her - 'Grosvenor [Square] is not half so agreeable to our ?chests & constitution as Devonshire Square'.

He is to leave Brecon tomorrow, having made the most of a short stay. Howell [Gwynne] was very polite to Charles at Garth, and [his wife] Lady Rudd was 'not uncivil'. He preached on Sunday in two churches followed by a miserable ride over the hill to Brecon, arriving drenched through with the rain. He suffered no lasting ill effects.

He spent most of yesterday [13 January 1755] at Trevecka - 'God has not rejected his old servant [Howell Harris] there. He joins with his wife in cordial love to us both'.

As for 'this family' [the Gwynnes], he cannot say much, except that poor Rebecca would be glad to escape from them. Her chief comfort is the little Methodist Society here - 'you may depend upon her when a tender nurse is needed'.

Sarah's recently deceased old nurse [Grace Bowen] needs 'congratulation not condolence. She lies close to dear Molly Leyson. ?Peggy [Mary Gwynne] & Jacky [Wesley] also is of the party above. They are singing together & pitying US'.

His love should be given to [Samuel] Lloyd, and Sarah should comfort poor Betsy and perhaps the enclosed [?poem] will help - 'we ought to rejoice that is certain but self-love hinders'.

Charles should be remembered to Mr Montague, Jane Hands, Sister Boult etc.

He will remember to bring Sarah's cloak, but why does she need pumps also?

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.199-200. Trevecka was the birthplace of the evangelist Howell Harris, and was a major centre for Calvinistic Methodist activity in Wales. Harris founded a religious community there in 1752, and it was later the site of a ministerial training College founded by the Countess of Huntingdon. Source: General Methodist historical. ]


Letter ([8 Dec 1755])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/86
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 86

Scope and Content

From [London] to S W. Her short letter was welcome. He left on Thursday morning at eight 'without bidding the bride goodmorrow' and rode with [John] James in a severe frost to Tetsworth, where they were pleased to transfer to a post- chaise. He arrived at his lodgings at [?Thomas] Keen's house [in Wickham, Berkshire] by eight that night.

His first visit on Saturday morning was to Lovil's Court to find that Betsy had left for Islington following her son's recovery.

Sunday afternoon [7 December 1755]

He was surprised by his brother John at the [West Street] chapel, and later by [Mary] Degge. He will not now be seeing John again before Wednesday. Many friends ask after Sarah. He is writing this letter from [William] Wright's house.

John informs him that a French invasion is expected every hour, and will be opposed by troops under the command of Major General [Henry] Hawley. The government is apparently convinced that a landing will take place, and are determined to meet force with force. Charles himself doubts 'whether my brother's soldiers with all his pains & haste to train them up will not be too TARDY to rescue us'.

Great things have been done to relieve the people of Lisbon [following the great earthquake]. Two ships have been sent, one carrying a cargo of flour, and the other from Falmouth loaded with herrings and pick-axes etc. A man of war is also on its way to provide security in the port.

[John] James has left. He can give Sarah details of the quarrel, as Charles himself has no wish to get involved.

If Sarah wishes to know where Charles is lodging, he would be hard put to reply. Last night he slept at the chapel and he is now (Monday 10 am) writing from Grosevenor Square [Mary Degge's house], where he also drank tea yesterday. He shall deliver Sarah's letter to [Mary] when she appears, and shall wait for a reply.

The only reason he has for not wishing that Sarah was present is that he does not know where she could sleep. The earliest that Charles will be called for is the beginning of January [1756], and it will perhaps be as late as February or March, in which case God will provide them with a place to stay. He met [Ebenezer] Blackwell at the chapel and was invited by him to his home - 'I smiled & said nothing'.

Apparently on the day of the [Lisbon] earthquake, the people there 'were to have had an Act of Faith, yt is a bonfire of the poor Jews & Hereticks'. All the English residents therefore left town and escaped the calamity that followed.

Sarah may direct her letters until told otherwise to the house of [William] Wright in Frith Street, Soho.

[Mary] Degge answers for herself, but Sarah should inform him what Mary intends to do.

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.200-201. On December 7 1755 John Wesley preached at the West Street Chapel in London. Source: Nehemiah Curnock, The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M (1960), Volume 4, p.143. ]


Letter (23 Oct 1756)

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/86A
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 86

Scope and Content

From Hatfield, [?Hertforshire] to S W. 'Blessed be the day on which my dearest Sally was born'.

They have enjoyed very fine weather all day, the best in fact since they parted in Bristol.

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.200. The date is written 'Oct 12/23 1756'. The number twelve probably refers to the time of day when the letter was written. ]


Letter ([9 May 1755] )

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/87
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 86

Scope and Content

From Rotherham, Yorkshire, to S W in Charles Street, Bristol. He is grabbing a few moments before the arrival of the congregation to send his love to his 'dearest Sally'. He hopes to call on 'my L' [the Countess of Huntingdon] tomorrow night or Sunday morning.

He believes that the horse will arrive safely in Bristol before Charles reaches London.

Last Saturday afternoon [May 3 1755] on the way to Wakefield after the Wesley brothers 'had settled everything in ye 4 preceding days' Charles met 'my good angel & sister [Mary Wesley]. I have done her honour before the people & behaved (tho I say it) very much like a gentleman', although he did leave Leeds this morning without informing her or her husband [John Wesley]. No doubt he will follow shortly with a letter of complaint, but Charles is hardened to 'causeless reproofs'.

He trusts that Sarah is patient in his absence, and indeed she should rejoice that the Lord finds that Charles is of use.

She noticed the 'spirit wch dictated that letter [from ?Mary Wesley]. But I take no notice of such envious complaints'.

Miss Norton sends her regards. She does not like any of the [Methodists] except for Charles and Mr Edwards.

He left the brethren [preachers] in Conference [at Leeds] 'but had quite enough of them first, but I do not repent my trouble'. She must be content to wait for further details. He feels that he is done with Conferences for ever. All agreed not to separate [from the Anglican Church], 'so the wound is healed - slightly'. He does have other good news to bring her from Leeds.

His love should be given to Sarah Jones. Her husband [John] is detained by Charles's brother, but should overtake Charles at Birmingham.

If Sarah's next letter has a frank, it should be directed to the Foundery in London, otherwise to [Samuel] Lloyd's house [in Devonshire Square, London].

He should be remembered to [Anne] Vigor and their other friends.

He would like to be informed whether or not Sarah's two sisters are with her. If they are not it is either Sarah's fault or their's. He will be detained for three weeks in London and then the Lord permitting they should be able to meet in Charles Street [Bristol].

Sarah should keep an exact count of her falls.

Here is [Jane] Green - walking about as if she had not been confined to her bed [to give birth] just a fortnight ago. Charles hopes that the impending birth of the Wesleys' child will be as easy.

On Wednesday night he was assisted in his preaching in a quite wonderful manner. His subject was 'My Grace is sufficient for thee'.

Friday night

He exhorted the Society here to remain within the Church of England, and he hopes to deliver the same exhortation to every Society - 'on such an occasion you will cheerfully spare me'.

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.202 . Jane Green was the second wife of book-seller and school master William Green, who was the chief promoter of Methodism in Rotherham. Until the building of the Octagon Preaching House in 1761, services were normally held in Green's house or school, and Green himself served as a local preacher for many years. Source: Samuel J. Russell, Historical Notes of Wesleyan Methodism in Rotherham Circuit (1910), pp.8-11. ]


Letter (1 Jul [1756])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/89
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 89

Scope and Content

From London to S W. She can expect him to follow this letter very soon. Yesterday he saw Mrs Bird. At her baptism they were 'quite overpowered & struck speechless'. Later that night walking home, Bird experienced a feeling of immense joy. Charles reminded her that she must expect temptation as well as comfort. Her husband 'a poor backslider is much stirred up'. They have both invited Sarah to visit them at their home in town or country, and Mrs Hogg also sends her regards.

Yesterday he visited Mrs Hervey, who sends her love, and he then spent two hours with [?Henry] and Mrs Venn, and saw Miss Chambers and [George] Downing. After drinking tea at Vauxhall Charles had two hours of useful conversation with their friends in Lewisham. He discovered faithful John Downes waiting for him upon his return to his lodgings.

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.203. The Evangelical clergyman Henry Venn graduated from Cambridge in 1742 and was ordained five years later. After serving two curacies in the London area, he was appointed Rector of Huddersfield in 1759, and commenced a very successful ministry. He differed from the Wesleys on several doctrinal points and in later life adopted a mild form of Calvinism. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) . Mrs Hervey was possibly a relation of the Anglican clergyman James Hervey, who had been a member of the Holy Club at Oxford Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974). George Downing was an Anglican clergyman who was involved on the fringe of the Evangelical movement, acting as chaplain to the Earl of Dartmouth Source: Dr Frank Baker, John Wesley and the Church of England (1970), p.184. ]


Letter (26 Dec [1755])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/90
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 90

Scope and Content

From Westminster to S W. 'The Lord is with us as a truth'. This morning he preached on St Stephen, and urged on his congregation his example in praying for his murderers. Charles himself felt at the time that he could love his worst enemy. How happy and safe they would be if they were incapable of feeling resentment. Charles wishes that someone would injure either him or a friend, so that he could feel sorrow and pity for the offender - 'my peace has too long laid at another's mercy' [Mary Wesley].

[John] Jones returns on January 10 with [Wesley] Hall and several other [pupils?]. That is also the day of Charles's reunion with Sarah [in Bristol?].

If the marriage [of Mary Degge and Lord Robert Manners, a son of the Duke of Rutland] is on New Years Day, Charles hopes to set off for Dornford on January 6, and after resting there for two days, arrive in Charles Street [Bristol] by Saturday evening.

Friday night [26 December 1755]

Today he had dinner with Mrs Ross, who sends her greetings. Dr [Ross] also is well, as is their fine son. It would almost be worthwhile for Sarah to visit [London], just to see the boy.

Sarah should keep all Farley's newspapers, until Charles arrives.

All Sarah's letters have been received.

They must not 'despair yet of setting my bro right & thro him the preachers'.

Charles feels that [Mary] Degge does not lack the will to help them.

Sarah should visit 'my bro to affront him. The danger lies the other way, but I shall neither affront nor be affronted'.

He wasted another half hour yesterday in vain enquiries about Leicester Fields. Today [?Elizabeth] Waller rejoiced 'yt I could not find yr bro & dissuades my further attempting it; because WE MUST NECESSARILY QUARREL he says IF WE MEET. The return of his past proposal to me we will not now dispute'.

[The rest of the letter is missing]

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.203-204. Wesley Hall was Charles Wesley's nephew through his sister Martha and her husband Westley Hall. After the break-up of Martha's marriage, Charles and John Wesley assumed responsibility for their nephew's education. The boy displayed academic promise but died before reaching adulthood. Source: Rylands Wesley Family papers. ]


Letter (27 Jun [?1758])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/91
GB 133 Former reference:

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From the Foundery, [London], to S W in Charles Street, Bristol. If possible she should keep [?Mrs] Barlow and ?Thrine with her until next Tuesday.

Reference is made to the death of the 'Happy, happy Mr Parkinson'. Charles would wish that his own death will be similar. Sarah should comfort Parkinson's sister until Charles's arrival.

Mrs Boult sends her greetings, and will follow them in person to Bristol before long.

He is drinking tea with [Rebecca Gwynne], [?Elizabeth Waller], and 'Tomme' [?Elizabeth's son Thomas], and they all send their love together with that of the courteous Mr Belson.

Today he partook of the Lord's Supper with [Mary] Bosanquet, Mrs [Gumley or Galatin], and Miss Edwards - 'it was a feast indeed!. We called on our absent friends to be partakers'.

A week from today before nine in the evening, he hopes to 'embrace my lovely Sarah [and] Charles [junior]'.

He prays that the Lord will continue to heal their sister's body as well as her soul.

Charles buried 'an old sinner of fourscore, unawakened till she came to die. How different is the death of the righteous'.

They shall think of Sarah this evening.

[ Note: Notes Annotated by Sarah Wesley - 'Mr Wesley June 29th recd'. Publication Record: Quoted by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.204 . Mary Bosanquet was born into a wealthy family in Essex in 1739, and involved herself in the activities of the London Methodists from an early age. She was a close friend of the Wesley brothers and of John Fletcher, who she eventually married. Bosanquet was regarded as one of the most eminent Methodist women of her day, and the Society which she helped to run in her husband's parish of Madeley was regarded as a model of its type. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974), and Zachariah Taft, Holy Women (1825), Volume 1. ]


Letter (14 Apr [?1759])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/92
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 92

Scope and Content

From London (on Easter-eve) to S W [at Ludlow, Shropshire]. On Friday he trusts that God 'will grant me my heart's desire…the sight of one I love NEXT to himself'. Reference is made to a dying unnamed friend.

God has shown Sarah great troubles, but has raised her up again.

Last Wednesday he caught a crick in his neck through visiting Mr Leyson in the rain, but he stayed at home all Thursday and was completely cured.

[G W] has taken on a large part of Charles's work. He left him preaching in the [West Street] chapel at Seven Dials yesterday, 'reserving myself for the Watchnight'. In consideration of which they held the service this morning an hour later than usual. He mentions such details to show her that he is taking good care of himself in the hope that she is following his example.

Charles 'sure-footed' mare has not let him down once despite Sarah's 'malicious supposition. You would do well in stead of affronting her to find a better; but that I neither expect nor desire. Only I would exchange her for one (or two) good chaise horses'.

He saw Cousin Betty today and passes on her love. She remains weak but cheerful and is in good hands. Sister Davies and Dudy Perronet etc also send their love.

She should think of them travelling on Wednesday.

The rest of the letter is addressed to Rebecca Gwynne.

He looks forward to seeing her and Marmaduke Gwynne senior on Friday afternoon at the Hundred House. Charles hopes to be there by ten in the morning, roads and weather permitting.

Dr Wathen has found him a 'full weeks employment with his physic'. Then he continues to Bristol for a week, and back again to Ludlow.

[ Note: Note Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, p.205. ]


Letter (29 Jul [?1759])

Reference GB 133 DDCW/5/93
GB 133 Former reference: Folio entitled Letters of the Revd. C. Wesley, page 93

Scope and Content

From Moorfields, London, to S W. He waited anxiously for Sarah's letter until after nine last night 'fretting at yr supposed neglect till John was pleased to remember it lay in his pocket since 4 in the afternoon'. He read it and dreamed of it all night. In his dream he saw their son Charles walking about as well as his mother - 'I fear my dream will not be out for one while I feel a degree of thankfulness for his being better; & Sally also. She SHOULD take after me, as she is to be MY child'.

Sarah need not chastize Charley too severely if he is so easy to handle, but any son of Charles is sure to display a will of his own sooner or later - 'persuade him & you need never compel him. If he will lead tis pity he should drive. Yet I doubt our skill in discerning their tempers so soon'.

[Thomas] Maxfield is unable to assist Charles on Sunday, 'because he is always at the opposite chappel'.

Charles was reminded of Sarah and Mr Lindsay by the 'spirit of supplications'.

Mr Phene or Finne is chaplain to the King of Prussia [Frederick the Great]. He parted from Charles with great reluctance and takes back to his Royal master a good report of the Methodists.

Neither money nor letter has arrived from Brecon [ie the Gwynne family] - is it hard or merely unkind? Sarah should 'get Beck [Rebecca Gwynne] to stand our friend'. [John] James will let Sarah have whatever [?sum of money] she requires.

Charles shall see to his books upon his return [to Bristol], as he cannot rely upon [John] Jones.

Reference is made to Sarah '& the other objectors' in the context of a discussion about the Trinity, with particular reference to the views of [William] Law.

What is Mrs Davis coming to London for? - 'to die without a friend near her?….her foes are those of her own household'.

His love should be given to Mrs Furly, her maid, and friends.

Charles has been very careful of his health this past week, keeping himself at home 'till my purging should take its course'. Miss Chambers acted as his physician, curing him by giving him rhubarb soaked in brandy. This morning Mrs Dobinson gave him a lift to the chapel, where he read most of the service, preached for about thirty minutes 'with great freedom', and gave the sacraments to over six hundred people. He felt stronger at the end than the beginning.

He escorted Mrs Venn to dinner at Mrs Wright's house - 'she has stood her ground against the whole religious world with her husband at their head', yet she cannot abandon her love for the Methodist people and their ministers. She sends her love.

Doubting his own strength and fearing a relapse, he got a preacher to take his place at the chapel this afternoon, and rode instead with Mrs Venn to Cheapside, where they parted. Charles then drank tea at Mrs Dobinson's house, before returning to his lodgings. [William] Perronet is sitting nearby while Charles writes this, and speaks warmly of Sarah and their family, friends, and M. Davis.

He has 'made the most of my disorder' lest Sarah assume that he is not taking good care of himself. She should be as careful with her health and that of their children. Several people have handed him presents for Charley, but none for poor Sally - even her godmother seems to have forgotten her.

Reference is made to Mrs Batchelor, [John] James and his wife, and Mr Durbin.

He feels ashamed at resting so much, especially as he feels quite strong. If Sarah will not urge it so much, he will not do so again.

Does she want anything from London? He hopes to be able to return to Bristol in a few weeks, but his situation is as precarious as that of the country.

[ Note: Notes Publication Record: Quoted extensively by Thomas Jackson in The Journal of the Rev. Charles Wesley (1849), Volume 2, pp.206-208. The reference to John in the first paragraph is probably not to J W, as he was away from London in July 1759, and was in any case more often referred to by Charles as his brother. It could be a reference to the preachers John Downes or John Jones. Henry Durbin was a wealthy apothecary and one of the earliest members of the Bristol Society. A firm supporter of the connection with the Church of England, he withdrew from Methodism as a result of the Bristol Sacramental dispute of 1793. Source; Methodist Magazine 1799, p.487, and Rupert E. Davies, The Works of John Wesley (1989), Volume 9, p.420. Mrs Furly was possibly a relation of Revd. Samuel Furly, who was a friend of Revd. Henry Venn and a regular correspondent of J W, as was his sister Dorothy. Source: Dr Frank Baker, The Works of John Wesley (1982), Volume 26, p.536. ]