Letters of Wilson Eccles, son-in-law of Rev. John Watson DD

[originals held in the Arthur Samuel Peak collection, John Rylands University Library, Manchester]

JRU ref: MA PK IV 332

[Rev. John Watson has suffered a stroke one month previously. Dr. Peake has apparently offered to take on John's responsibility for editing the next edition of the Holborn (Quarterly) Review.]

The Poplars

Oct. 7. 1901.

Dear Mr Peake,

I am very thankful to you for your kind promise respecting the next Review, and Dr Watson wishes me to assure you of his gratitude for your generous help. He knows that in your hands, the Review is certain not to suffer.

For the present, he cannot go further than that. As to subjects and writers it is necessary to act without him. The clot of blood is not yet all dispersed from the brain; and any attempt to think, such as would be necessary, tires him so that he has to abandon it in a minute or two. After a while, however, he returns to it, finds himself weak again, and gets rather worried. So we try to keep his mind off his work. He can enjoy one or two chapters of Jane Austen, but he says I am to tell you he has at last learned that he has limitations. He desires therefore to stand aside entirely, just now; but believes he will be able to manage the April No. I am not so sure about this; but if he really cannot do it, I have no doubt the truth will come gradually to him in the next three months; if he can, so much the better.

I am sending you the parcel of articles &c in hand, though it won't be of much use to you, if any. It is mostly poor stuff. Beyond this I do not know of anything except that Mr Hind has something in view on Sidgwick; Rev John Welford says he will send in a few days an article on "Harnach's, What is Xrity [Christianity?]"? by request of the Association last week; and Dr Watson has had some correspondence with Rev J D Thompson about an article on Browning. Your suggestion of a leading article on the Hartley Lecture is very pleasing to my Father-in-law. He will now leave the whole undertaking in your hands, and if I can relieve you with any proof reading, I shall be very glad, and very careful.

Dr Watson is making very good progress. With a little help on his weak side he can walk about the house.

With kind regards
I am
Yours faithfully

Wilson Eccles.

[written across the top of the sheet]

Dr. W. tells me that there is in his writing desk a philosophical article by Rev J Forster. He cannot remember the subject but he says he intended it for use: it would have been in the Octr. No. but for lack of room. I shall be at Openshaw on Friday or Saturday and will send it to you.
Also the Book Steward will soon require a prospectus for use in the advertising circular.

Besides this, Dr W. says the printer may have something in hand. He is not sure. But these of course need not be printed unless you choose.

These after notes are made since Dr. W. got up and came into the sitting room where I am at work.


  JRU ref: MA PK IV 333

[Rev. John Watson has died 2 days previously.]

Rouge Rue


Dear Dr Peake

We are all very grateful to you for your kind promise to give the address on Friday. There is no other man in the Connexion towards whom Dr Watson's heart and judgment were so much drawn as they were to you. Through all the years that you have not seen him he has followed with keenest interest everything concerning you. It is not too much to say that he loved you.

For these reasons, and really because on his intellectual side, (and also on his pastoral side as College Principal), there is no one else who knew him so well as you, though there are some who knew him a longer time, we have decided to be very bold and to ask if you can add to your kindness by writing his Memoir for the Aldersgate.

I am writing for the Leader next week: but the "Aldersgate" notice of him is more enduring.

My wife and Nance cannot undertake the hurried journey to and from M/c this week. Mr Cowie and I will come.

With kind regards
I am
Sincerely yours

Wilson Eccles