Letter to a Methodist Missionary


SKU: 003497 Categories: ,


[003497] [Letter to a Methodist Missionary]. A Letter to the Missionary John Lewis in Newfoundland, Canada. Holyhead, Anglesey: No Publisher, 1817. First Edition. 4to. Unbound. Letter. Good. [3]p, letter with integral address panel to final page.

Lightly browned, couple of spots of foxing, creased from old folds, abrasions around wax seals with very minor amounts of loss, but no loss of sense.

Dated April 17th, 1817, from Waterside, Holyhead, Anglesey, by way of Poole in Dorset, a letter to John Lewis, a Methodist missionary in Port le Grave, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, from his parents Robert and Elizabeth Lewis. They acknowledge receipt of his previous letter of the 29th November 1816, but note they did not receive an earlier one. They note that “we have nothing remarkable to state, but we are happy to say that our County remains in perfect tranquility, tho affected with the greatest calamity owing to the downfall of the National Commercial ?Trades”. They go on to state that his ?brother Thomas has gone to Liverpool “in pursuit of his ?marriage, Hugh still remains in Manchester employed under the same master, in his last letter he mentioned that the country in general suffers the greatest distress, and population in a state of starvation, most probably it was the case, as our last harvest failed very much owing to the weather being so continually wet” [Wheat yields in England, Ireland and France were down 75%, and food prices doubled]. The letter continues with friends wanting to be remembered to him; a child drowning in a pond; his brother Robert being bound apprentice to a shoemaker in Liverpool; the death of his old neighbour Robert Hughes in Margate and that they “will try to get this letter franked by a Member of Parliament, in order to send it post free to Poole”.

An interesting letter from Lewis’s parents, here clearly Robert and Elizabeth Lewis, but the only significant article on Lewis found online states that his parents were called John and Jane.

John Lewis (1788-1866), Methodist missionary, kept journals of his time in Newfoundland between 1814 and 1819, spending six years as an itinerant missionary, “he was first assigned to Lower Island Cove and Old Perlican at the top of the peninsula separating Conception and Trinity Bays, then to Hant’s Harbour on the Trinity Bay side, and later to Port de Grave at the head of Conception Bay [where this letter is sent to], spending approximately one year in each place”, returning to England in 1820 (For a full account of his life see https://tinyurl.com/yfm68ed7)