Letter from John Mercer to Mr [Ralph] Gibson

The letter is in the John Rylands Library, Manchester - [PLP 74-17-2] ; it would appear to be a sequel to an earlier letter of 28 April 1819 held in the Manx Museum.

To Rev Mr Gibson, Methodist Chapel, Wigton, Cumberland

(on cover Recd Miss M Clucas, Mr Mercer ,Clucas -

My dear Brother

On entering Mr Cannell's Back Door last Saturday, he met me in the Passage and told me that he had heavy tidings, for punishment was about to be inflicted upon me. And after raising my fear to I dont know know what hight, almost enough to shake my nervous System ; he pulled a Letter out of his pocket and read the following words, "you may tell Mr Mercer the punishment to be inflicted upon him is, he is to leave his favourite Isle of Man and take an English Circuit next year",

And Mr Wilson from Kensingham, Mr William Jackson fm Workington, and nearly all Mr Cannell's Family being at Breakfast, began to laugh heartily at me, while I stood ghastly and almost turned pale to think from whom can this terrible sentance come? Who can be so envious as to plot my ruin on account of the Honours confered upon me ? and I cannot tell how many such like things ran thro' my mind as quick as a Coach and six. At last I peeped over Mr Cannell's Shoulder, and saw that the hand writing was thine. Ah! thought I, cruel! cruel! (What shall I say) How could he ever think of such a punishment as this, who in a little time will be as great a ManksMan as myself!

Well, after taking a cup or two of tea, and going with Mr Cannell and others to view the new Chapel, and attending to some other matters I recovered a little from the surprise which your hard sentance had excited ; so that Mr Burgess, Mr Cannell, myself and others took your proposals into consideration. And after viewing the subject on every side ; we thought it would not do to alter the day for opening Douglas Chapel. First because a second Letter and a special Messenger was gone to Dr Clarke some days before your Letter came to hand. And secondly to put it a week later would run agreat risk of preventing the representaitave from getting in time to the Stationing Committee ; as it would be a hundred to one if a Vessel could be got to Liverpool for the Preacher to be in Bristol on Saturday the seventeenth. My Brethren, as well as myself would be very glad to attend your District and Missionary Meeting, but do not see how we can possibly make it convenient. And am sure if you or any of the Brethren in your District can make it convenient to come we shall be equably gald to see you.

I have not time to say much. I changed with Mr Kemp a week since yesterday. was at the Howe last night. Few People. But your B_l_v_d 1and her Mother were there. I spent an hour and a half in her company this fore noon. Her Mother was gone to Kk Santon, so that we had all the talk to ourselves ; and can assure you that I highly aprove of your choice ; and if you enjoy as much happiness together as I wish you I am sure you will be happy enough.

Can you not find out a circuit where we can travel together ? As it appears from your Letter that you do not intend to stay where you are. I have a wonderful desire to travel with you ; and if the Lord and Conference would approve it so I would be wonderfully pleased.

I shall be very glad if you will write to me soon and tell me where you think of pitching your tent next year. And do tell me when you intend to come over. I was asking her this forenoon but she could not tell me.

My kind love to Wigton Friends, and to all others in your Circuit who ask after me.

The Lord be with you. As the the sincear prayer of your truly affectionate Friend and Brother

John Mercer

Ballafesson 20 May 1819


1 Ralph Gibson married a Miss Clucas from Port Erin.


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