Letter concerning Methodist circuit of High House (Hotts), Ireshopeburn, Weardale

Mr. Cuthbert Harrison
Irshopeburn near the High Meeting house


Feb 21, 1822

Dear Brother

I feel grateful to God & to the friends in Weardale that they have not forgotten me. And also obliged by the invitation you have sent me to travail again with you; & I assure you I shall never forget the kind treatment I met with in Weardale, nor the happy days I spent there. Yet (as I always like to be honest, & not say as some "I will come if the Conference appoint me, when they never mean to let the Conference appoint them, if they can help it"), I cannot encourage your expectations Consistently.

1st. Because I have been desired to remain where I am, but am not certain that I shall.

2d. As I have had the happiness of being near home till my Fathers Death, My Wife Wishes us to remain in this neighbourhood till her Mother's Death; & as there are several Circuits in the neighbourhood that will be at liberty if we leave Newark, I think it right to go to one of them.

3. I have some time ago denied another Circuit, who like you broke the rule of the last Conference in petitioning before the March Qr. Meeting, which was considerably nearer home than Weardale.

To these reasons I could add more, but I hope there will be sufficient to shew that my not coming to you is no mark of Disrespect, but for reasons that are Justifiable, Tho', I have said nothing about the trouble & expence of Removing my Family of 6 Little Girls & their Mother so far.

I wonder that Mr. Barr is leaving you so soon. I hope however that the Lord will provide you a man after his own heart, & that he will be a blessing to you. I feel persuaded that if you are the same kind of people you used to be, I should be happy with you, but under existing circumstances you must not expect it.

You will excuse me if I tell you, as a friend, that on petitioning in future The Letter should be sent by the Circuit Steward, signed on behalf of the Qr. Meeting. Perhaps you are the Circuit Steward. I have written to Mr. Hodgson W. Black Dean a little after my coming into every circuit since I left you, & have been favoured with his answers; whereby I have been favoured with a little Weardale news every two years nearly. I hope that you are doing comfortably & cleaving to the Lord.

This year, my fellow Labourer Mr. Brownell was taken away from me by death on the 24th[?] of September. In whose place a young man is come, of the name of Stephenson, from the Birstal[?] Circuit, who seems very promising. This Quarter, I am happy to say, is the best Quarter I have seen since I came into the Circuit, & I hope for greater good.

You will give my kind Love to Mr. Hodgin & Jno. Trotter at West Gate, who I hear is become a Miller, Stephen Watson Briar hill, A Race, J Myers, Phillippson, Featherston, Bee & all the friends at the High house, to whom perhaps you will read my letter, as far as it concerns them. I give my kind love to all other enquiring friends. I shall be happy to receive a friendly letter from you at any future time.

& beleive me Dear brother to be yours
Willam. Dalby

P. S. We have an Organ in the Newark Chapel, & as I am a Music man I am very fond of it. We have also about 440 in Society here, & a large Chapel well filled with hearers -- I mean in the Borough of Newark. One of the Most Elegant Churches in the Land with a Spire near 100 yards high. The remains of an old Castle & Priory, within the remains of fortifications raised in Cromwells time. Tis one of the neatest Marketplaces & compactest towns I am acquainted with; & I am just among my old friends, between Loughboro' where I travailed last[?] & Lincoln[?] where I was immediately before; & as my old friends live in my esteem, I trust I also live in theirs Praise the Lord, May I meet them all with my Weardale friends in heaven. Amen.

I have now travailed nearly in all the intermediate Circuits, for about 90 miles from East to West; so that I know & am known on the Ground pretty well, & I feel no particular desire to leave the neighbourhood where I was born. Excuse the long Postscript, & either read it or lay it by. This is my sixth year in this District, & 2 more I spent at Lincoln which joins it on the East, & 2 more at Newcastle which joins it on the West. Fare well. The Lord bless you.

Cuthbert Harrison was the maternal grandfather of Rev. John Watson D.D., Primitive Methodist minister, who was born at Ireshopeburn on Dec. 31st, 1832.