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Home > Family History > Leeds Area > Harewood > The Notices > Pages 71 to 80

"The Notices of the Stables Family"
by William Stables (1794-1862)

Page 71 said he would do his on business. On the morning of the 28th he arose
about 6 o'clock and got to the fire side. After breakfast he attempted to go
out, and finding he could not walk, became extremely irritated, and went
away to bed. Penelope went with him into the Parlour, and offered to assist
him, but he bade her get out, and said he should
lock the door: which he did and opened it no more 'till evening. Sister
heard him walking about in the Parlour two or three times in the course of
the day, but there was no admission. When we ascertained that the door was
open, Penelope carried him some tea, which he took. He lay four nights
and three days before he would submit to having the bed made. When he
consented I went and offered to assist him onto the sofa, but he ordered me
to keep off. He got up with the assistance of two sticks, but could not
support himself, and would have fallen down onto the floor, had I not caught
him in my arms. We have had him up again today, the second time. Father
thinks the fire is out, and says his foot is easier, and as far as I am able to
judge, the fire will be out, and his foot would mend, if he would allow proper
applications. Father has complained two or three days of restlessness, which
we think is occasioned by his not having any thing past his bowels since he
went
to bed, 'till today. He having positively refused to take any apperient
medicine, or have any advice."
On the 25th April 1837 my brother writes, "Father continued in
the parlour, and in his bed (except to have the bed righted a few times) 'till
the 11th of April, which was exactly a fortnight from his being first confined
to his bed. Since the 11th he had come into the house every other day only,
so that one day now he sits and lies on the sofa five or six hours, and the
other day he cannot be prevailed on to leave his bed at all. For his constant
cry is, he wants rest. He tells one of us every day he can get no sleep, nor
any rest. Indeed, he had told us frequently (which I daresay he believes to be
right) that he has not had an hour's sleep since he went to bed. Up to the
18th, father's leg was very bad indeed so that on the 16th and 17th we felt
some alarm, his leg was so bad, and he looked very ill of himself. On the two
last mentioned days he had a great deal of fever towards evening and 'till
midnight, so that he could not scarcely lay still for a minute together. In
the mornings when the fever had left him, he was very low and feeble, so
much so that he could not raise himself up- on-end in bed, to get a little
refreshment. One day Levis and I carried him from the bed to the house
fireside in his chair. However, we are now happy to say that we think
father's leg is mending nicely, and he appears better of himself, was upon
the sofa yesterday from eleven o'clock to five, but cannot be got up at all
today. One thing we are thankful to be able to say, that father has been very
calm and patient under his affliction since a few days at first". On the 8th
May 1837 my brother writes, "Since I last wrote, he has been up every day
except Sun. April 30th. His leg since that time has continued to improve,
and as far as we can judge by seeing it, is nearly well. Father went out of
doors for the first time of five weeks on the 2nd of May, and has been out a
little everyday since. On the 4th of May he mounted his pony and rode up
the fields, but has taken a little cold, and has
 
Page 72 and has not ventured more than to walk 'round the orchard and in the
Yard since. Lying in bed has enfeebled and tendered father so much that
he has strength only just sufficient to walk, with the help of a stick, at a
very slow rate, and for a short time, and can scarcely
bear of the fire at all when the wind is a little cold. I trust we feel sufficiently
thankful to be able to say that my dear father still continues very calm and
good tempered, so that he has not since he got out found fault with anything
worth mentioning."
"On the 19th June, 1837, I went with two of our children to visit than
at Linnington. The report I give of my father is: My father is very much
recovered from his late affliction, but is much sunk and weakened by it in
body." And he so far recovered from it that in the autumn, he ventured to
ride his faithful pony to Kirkby, and we were informed by brother after his
return that he did not seem worse for the journey.
In 1839 my father had another dangerous affliction. Under date
Septr. 24th, 1839 my brother writes,
"I think it my duty to inform you that my dear father last Wednesday
fell from his valuable pony, valuable because standing still by him when he
had fallen off, and was laid on the road unable to get up without assistance.
Mr. Ridsdale and father were coming from Kirkby fair together, driving each of
them a beast which they had bought. When coming near to Appleton Common,
Mr. Ridsdale met aeon on the road which he wanted to speak to on
business, and stop't his horse for 1 or 2 minutes only, and when he looked
around again, my father was laid on his back in the middle of the road. He
immediately rode to him and dismounted and got him up with great difficulty. In
the mean time two gentlemen came up on a gig, who at Mr. Ridsdale's request,
stop't and with Mr. Ridsdale lifted father into the gig, and brought him home.
When they got him out again, he found he could walk into the house, but was
obliged to submit to be brought in the arm chair by two men. After he had sat a
while, with a stick in one hand and the other arm *round sister P's neck, he got
to the hod side, and with a hard struggle she got him to bed, where he lay until
Saturday without ever being moved at all, insisting that he had no bones broken
or wrong, but his left hip was so stiff and more, that he neither could move or
bear to be moved. On Saturday morning through the entreaty of Mrs. Lyth (who
has now been a fortnight with us) he consented that we might fetch a doctor,
who, on examining the part minutely, gave it as his opinion that there was no
bones broken or out of joint, but that he was very much crushed. On Saturday,
Lewis and I took father in the sheet onto another bed, in order that the bed
might be changed, which being done, we carried him back again, and he has not
been off the bed again since. Father can give no account how he fell, so that we
think he must have had some kind of a fit, but if so it must have been very
slight, because his speech is not at all affected, neither his hand on the lamed
side.
 
Page 73 We are glad, however, to perceive he is a little better, though he
takes very little support, a little Black Ben, a drink of tea twice
a day, and five or six bites of bread or cheesecake in a day, has been
his support for 6 days. We do not perceive Father's strength much
reduced as he lays, but that we suppose will be seen and felt more when
he gets to move again. The doctor says he hopes father will get
to walk about again, but it is most probable it will be some weeks first."
Nov. 26, 1839, he writes,
"He has never yet rode since he fell. I have hitherto kept the pony
out of his way. He has done all for the last two or three weeks that he
could do to induce us to get it up, but say positively we were to do it.
Today he said he would have it got up, and kept in the house, for he
wanted it, so that I expect that he will be riding soon, as it is now in
the stable. What will be the consequence, I cannot tell, but I fear, and
know not what to do. Father has since you left us continued to recover as
well as any of us could anticipate. When the weather permits, he walks
out every day into the fields." On Dec. 3, 1839 he writes,
"Father has not yet mounted the pony, and appears more settled when
he has got him into the stable, so that he can go round there three or
four times a day to see him and the beasts we have tied up. Father
continues much in the same state of health as when I last wrote."
Under date of March 23rd 1840 he says,
"Father has been a few times upon his pony within the last month,
and does not appear to manage much worse than he did last summer.
He has got out a good deal the last two or three weeks of fine weather,
and is as well, as we can expect at his age."
On June 9th 1840 he writes,
"Since you were here my father (who has had his breakfast in bed
every morning for two years) has been up every morning betwixt 4 and 6
o'clock, but why he rises so early, nobody knows, because he seldom goes
out before breakfast, except into the stable to see his favourite pony
and then returns to breakfast."
Under date of Augst. 25, 1840 he writes,
"Father enjoys his usual state of health, but rides much less than
he did the fore part of summer. He goes to Kirby regularly every week to
get shaved, and went to Pickering a fortnight ago, it being the monthly
fair. I was there and was more than ever satisfied that he was not fit to
go from home. I saw him in one or two instances groping for the door
steps with his stick, he not being able to see them, and I should think
he did not know half a dozen people in the town except they first spoke
to him."
For several of the last years of my father's life, a very favourite
mode of employing his time was, in the cutting up of sticks in the yard, and
with them mending and maintaining the room fire. Very much dirt he made
with them frequently, and altogether the thing often very much annoyed and
distressed my poor afflicted sister Jane. On Dec. 15, 1840 my brother
writes,
"My father has generally been as well as usual since you left us.
He has for the last fortnight been so busy chopping green, wet, roots,
carrying them into the house, and heaping them upon, behind, besides,
and before the range, so that he scarcely can get time some days to go
round the yard. On Sat. he
 
Page 74 overset himself so with chopping, that it was with difficulty Penelope and
the girl could get him into the kitchen. He soon revived again and went
out again after his sticks."
March 16th, 1841, he says,
"My father has been as well as usual this winter, with the exception of
two or three days last week. I think he got a little cold. which brought on a
bowel complaint which sunk him for the time, but he is better, and can
attend to his daily labour again now, 'which is chopping sticks and mending
his fire, and I consider he is as busy as any of us, for although he sits in the
house most of the day, yet he scarcely ever sits still two minutes together.
He has never been on his grey horse since the autumn, nor has he been up
into the farm this year that I know of.*
On Jan. 4, 1842 he writes,
"You would undoubtedly learn from Matthew that our dear old Father
had failed very much when he was here, for previous to that time he was in
the habit of going as far as the weight shop several times every day, and
could bring large sticks away with him, as large, or larger, than a large rail,
As Matthew would inform you, Father fell one day when he was here, though
not much worse for the fall, yet he never attempted to bring any more large
sticks, went a few more times and gathered up any small pieces that he could
find. About a week after Matthew left us he fell one day at the back door
when gathering up a few sticks. The day following he fell in the back kitchen.
The next day he fell on the parlour floor. Since he had three falls he has
never ventured any further than the back door and the garden. The last
fortnight he has walked a little better 'till last Sunday. Sister P. said he came
out of the parlour into the kitchen without his shoes, forgot to put his clean
stockings on which he took with him on Sat. night. When changing his shirt
he muddled and got the sleeves onto his arms without pulling the shirt over
his head, and it was with difficulty that P. could get it on at all. He then sat
with his clothes unfastened, saying he would fasten them nobbotshe would
let him alone. When Jane got down and saw him she thought he must have
had a slight stroke of paralysis, for when dinner came in it was with very
great difficulty that he could get himself up in his chair. After dinner he
went into the parlour for a few sticks to his fire, got two or three in his
hands, and fell on the parlour floor. I went, lifted him up, and assisted him to
his chair, but he appeared very much to have lost the use of his left side. He
did not sit more than a quarter of an hour, before he got two sticks and set off
into the back kitchen. I followed him close behind, ex-. pecting him falling
into my arms every moment. However, he got safe back, and has walked and
been rather better again."
On Feby. 28th, 1842 he writes,
"In reply to your enquiries about my aged parent, I should say he is
better in health than he was a month or six weeks ago, but altho such is
the case, et he is gradually sinking. Were I asked if he was weaker today
than he was yesterday, I should scarcely be able to say yes, yet when I
compare what he is today with what he was a month ago, I see a material
difference. He is not as near blind as you can conceive any person to be to
see at all. On Saturday, when about to shave himself (which he continues to
do surprisingly) he groped about for the glass for some considerable time
(which was standing directly before him) and at length asked Penelope for
it. One day last week he got into the dining room instead of the Parlour,
and was
 
Page 75 about to undress himself to go to bed. Another day (when as usual he had a
fire in the house) after tea, he knelt down by the sofa side and then began
to undress him there, expecting he was at his bed side in the parlour. On
Saturday P. brought the tea things out of the parlour and went back into
the parlour again, when he had shut himself up in the closet close by where
he was sat, and was groping about the door, saying he wanted to put in the
window shutters, but could not get them to go right. The other morning
Penelope (who sleeps in the roam over him) heard him out of bed, and fall by
the bed side. She immediately got up and went to him. and found him
groping about on the floor, but said nothing, only, "I have lost my night
cap". X soon joined her and lifted him onto the bed again, when he fell
asleep in a few minutes, and lay quietly till morning. Some days he will
fetch a few sticks out of the back kitche; and other days he never attempts
to go, but orders them to bring him something to his fire. So far from his
having any idea of going out again, he has given up putting on his leather
shoes and his gaiters. Indeed, he ought to be dressed every morning by
some person but will not submit to it."
On April 26, 1842 he writes,
"My father continued to go into the kitchen every morning until last
Tuesday, and also to perform family devotions in the mornings up to that
time, Sister Penelope and Hannah (our servant) had to help him down onto his
knees, when he appeared so overset that he sometimes could not pray half a
dozen sentences. Since Tuesday the 17th inst. he has not been in the kitchen
at all, and it is with great difficulty that Penelope and I can get him the bed
side to his chair in the house and back again to bed off his chair. He moves
not from being seated on it at 9 o'clock till taken to bed at four, for he
cannot lift himself from his chair, neither can he stand without someone
to hold him up. His limbs appear to be growing so stiff and numb that he
scarcely can today move his feet, without my impelling them on. first one and
then the other."
On May 9, 1842 he writes,
"On Friday April 29th we called in Dr. Chapman. On Sat. and Sun. he
seemed very feeble, scarcely able to support himself erect in his chair, and it
was with difficulty he could be prevailed upon to take anything to eat. But in
the beginning of the week he revived a little. Dr. Chapman called again on
Tuesday, and said all that could be done was to pay attention to his bowels.
Up to Fri. last he was regularly got up about 9 o'clock every morning and
carried in his chair from the bed side to the fire, and sat 'till 4 o'clock, then
carried back to bed. On that day he positively refused to get up at all. Sat. we
got him up as usual, and did not perceive that he bore it any worse than he had
done during the week. Yesterday and today we have not been able to prevail
upon him to be moved, even to have the, bed made. During the last 4 or 5 days
he has had scarcely any solid food, indeed, since Fri. he has had nothing but
hunting nuts, with sherry wine and gruel, which he takes under the idea that it
is wine and water. He will take two or three nuts every hour, generally taking
them in his own hand, but sometimes having them put into his mouth, If they
put a piece of bread or cake, or anything else into his hand or mouth, he puts it
out as
soon as he finds what it is. He takes about a gill of gruel with a glass of sherry
in the course of the day. He will just sip of tea or coffee, but
 
Page 76 soon puts it away again saying, "It's poor stuff." His usual answers
are "I would nought", "I wish thou would be quiet," "Pri-thee, get away." In
reply to Mrs. Lyth's very pointed interrogation respecting the state of
his mind, he gave short, but generally satisfactory answers. "The Lord is
the strength of my heart and my portion forever." "My dependence is upon
him, I am resigned to his will, the Lord will do what is best for us," were
some of his expressions, and once in reply to the question, "Do you love
God?" he answered sharply, "Yes, and he loves me." Different times he has
said, "I have no doubt of my mind." We do not perceive any further decay of
his faculties, on the contrary we have thought him a little clearer the
last week."
Under date of May 17th, 1842 he writes,
"On the evening he seemed more than usually calm and recollected. Jane
inquired of him, if he had any pain. He replied, not much pain, but he felt
weakness.She said God had promised to give strength in time of weakness. He
said, "Yes, and he does give me strength." She said, "You feel the Lord is near
to you." He answered, "Aye, he is present with me, and he is able and willing
to save even to the uttermost." She remarked that he spoke with more
confidence and feeling, than she had heard him for sometime previous, and the
impression made on her mind was most satisfactory and grateful. On Sat. and
Sunday he seemed nicely, and was able to raise himself up in bed better than he
had been for somedays previous. On Sun. evening we got him into his chair a few
minutes, while the bed was changed, but the movement seemed to irritate and
distress him a good deal. Yesterday and today he has laid almost constantly as
if asleep, only now and then putting out his hand for drink Of course it is now
necessary for someone to be with him constantly."
On June 7th, 1842 he writes,
"I have been attending to Father for an hour, who became so feverish and
restless, that none of his female attendants could manage him. Some days
father is feverish and restless, and the fever has been so strong as to produce
delirium. At these times it was with difficulty I could keep him in bed. When
the fever has abated, he has been so exhausted, that he would lie for a day or
two and scarcely either speak or move anything but a hand, which is a sign
that he wanted something, but it is often with great difficulty that we can
ascertain what. He has taken from a gill to a pint of weak tea or gruel every
twenty four hours. Not a bit of solid food has he had of twenty six days. Again
and again have we surrounded his bed expecting the last struggle was come, but
as often has he revived, and we can scarcely say at times whether he is any
weaker than he was a fortnight ago or not."
Another letter had I after the preceding extract, but he continued in
much the same state, but as our son Matthew had gone over to assist in
attending on his grandsire, and remained until after the closing scene, when
he returned home and gave us a verbal account of it.
His animal frame seemed to stand still, through the mere want of power
to move longer, and the machine which had run on with astonishing
regularity for more than 85 years, at last stood still, and his death might have
been considered one of the most natural I have ever heard of. For a day or
two at the last, he seemed to have a species of fainting fits, during which he
would not breathe fora moment,
 
Page 77 then recommence again. At the last he departed in this may, for a few moments,
four or five, he drew his breath in the most gentle way, once or twice in a
moment, until at length it ceased, in the most gentle way imaginable. Not a
sign or groan, not the moving of a hand or foot, not the quivering of a
muscle, or the least change of countenance. Thus slept my honoured parent
at a quarter before five o'clock on the evening of June 21st, 1842, aged
more than 85 years.
For the last few years we have considered my father in a much
improved state of religious feeling and enjoyment. About five years before his
decease, when he was in considerable danger from a scalded leg, he was
evidently awakened to seek for a nearer enjoyment of God. From that time
he became more spiritual, more dead to the world, much more prayerful, and
our feelings were much relieved by the conviction that he was in the good
providence and Grace of God, in a state of preparation for his change.
Through his great dullness of hearing for many years, he was inaccessible to
ordinary conversation, and but little was said by him as to his religious
state, but his frequent sighs and groans, his lifted eyes and hands, said,
in a language that could not be misunderstood, that he had access to God.
On Saturday June 25th myself and wife went to Linnington. There
we found cousins John and Mary Lyth. He had arrived during the afternoon..
She had been there some weeks, assisting in attending on her Uncle (to whom
she had always mannifested great attachment, and had annually gone to visit
him). On Sunday afternoon my Uncle Jonathan Dunn, his wife and son, and his
sister Mary arrived, and on Monday forenoon my cousin Jonathan Cordukes also
came from Kelfield. The funeral was to take place between eleven and twelve.
Mrs. Bentley also came down to join the relations at breakfast and also Mr.
Bentley before the funeral. Rev. Win. Ash, the Superintendent of the
Pickering Circuit, and three tradesmen from Pickering, with whom my father
had been accustomed to deal, came to breakfast. We passed on our way to
church in silence, being joined at the door of the house, or on our way by a
very large number of the villagers. The funeral service was read by the Revd.
Wm. Belwood, the incumbent. Some of our friends thought he was rather the
worse for liquor at the time, but I did not perceive it. The church was nearly
full of people.
He was interred by the side of my mother, a space having been
reserved between the grave of my sister Elizabeth and hers for that
purpose. At the head of the two graves stands a stone with the
following inscription,
"Sacred to the memory of William Stables of Linnington, who died
June 21st, 1842, aged 85 years; also of Ann Stables, his wife, who
died March 7th, 1827, aged 60 years. If we believe that Jesus died and
rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with
him. 1st. These. 4, 16."

(Note A. See Page 64) The account of Uncle John Stables' cross-ness
about the purchase I had from my mother. It would seem that he
afterwards became more friendly, and then the conveyance was made to him
and his Uncle Bentley, and afterwards a conveyance was made from Wm.
Bentley and John Stables of my father's part or share. The only reason I
can see for the expense of having two conveyances is, that they did not
immediately get the estate divided. Bat I believe that my father took
possession of is part from the spring of 1796 and that Francis Dobson
then became his tenant. In Oct. '98 my father had to distrain for his
rent (see
 
Page 78  page 65), so that F. Dobson must have in fact occupied it three years; and it
also follows that my father took it into his own hands, and
began to move his goods to it in the spring of 1799. (This note written June
185 W. s. )

N-O-T-I-C-E-S of my mother, A-N-N S-TA-B-L-E-S
and her ancestors.
Her maiden name was DUNN. JOHN DUNN, her paternal grandfather resided
at Swinefleet, a large village on the south bank of the River Ouse, about six miles
below Howden, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is a remarkably rich and fertile
district, called "Marshland", much famed for the growth of potatoes, large
quantities of which are annually shipped for the London market. It is probable
that the family had resided there for a great number of years, from the
circumstance of about half the village being related to it, in a near or remote
degree. And when I visited and inspected the very large and ancient church at
Aden, about 1850, I was surprised to find several marble tablets in the church
erected to the memory of Dunns. A widow of that name had occupied the Hall
(where we were visiting) about 1848. It, with some estate was on sale, and she
was about buying it (the purchase was about 5000 pounds), but she ventured so
and stood off until Mr. John Banks had the offer of it, and he at once made the
purchase, which was very uncommonly cheap, and himself went to occupy the Hall.
JOHN DUNN, her grandfather, had here an estate mirth from seven to
eight thousand pounds. For some years before his death he was a member of
the Methodist society, was active and zealous, was remarkable for singing in
public with all his might. He was a man who had power with God in prayer. He
had two daughters. At the time they were both ill, and very likely to die, he
thought he could not give them up, and prayed that they might recover. His
prayer was granted, his daughters recovered, but the Spirit of Cod was
grieved, and he was brought into darkness, because he had not asked in a
proper spirit of resignation. and his daughters were spared (one of them at
least), to be his sorrow and punishment. So that he said he would never advise
any one to pray for the recovery of their children from affliction, because
they were
not aware what trouble and sorrow they might thereby entail on themselves.
Sometime after all his children were married, or removed from him, his
daughter Sarah Middlebrook persuaded him to give up housekeeping and reside
with her husband and herself. With them he spent the remainder of his days,
and it is said (by my grandmother Ann Dunn, 1828, that she succeeded in
having his will made to her mind, and was herself left joint executrix with his
only (living) son John, my grandfather. At their house he died Novr. 2nd,
1799. aged 92 years. Hs had three sons and two daughters. I know not the
order in which they came into the world, and just put down what I have
heard.
FIRST. GEORGE, who was a surgeon and resided at Thorne, a small
market town a few miles south of Swinefleet. He was a member of the
Methodist Society, and a man highly respected in his profession. He died
when about thirty years of age, lamented by the whole neighbourhood.
SECOND. JONATHAN. He was a farmer. When grown up to manhood
he highly displeased his father by marrying a poor girl. His father
would not give him any property, but his younger brother John (my
grandfather) soon after taking the Barlby Hall farm, let Jonathan have
it, and persuaded his father to let him have some
 
Page 79 money, offering, as a condition, to have his own portion reduced, by the
amount of what his brother might squander away. To this his father
consented, and at the expiration of two years, after Jonathan's death, when a
valuation of the goods was taken, they had just lost two hundred pounds of it.
Jonathan came to his death in an ally sudden manner. He was driving
some cattle to Selby market, and on the way feel down in a fit (as is
supposed), and falling with his head into a hole not much larger than a
horse's foot sometimes makes, which was full of water, he was drowned.
THIRD. SARAH, Married to Samuel Middlebrook, She bore the
character of being a shrewd and sensible woman, but she was very unhappily
married. He was a notable liar, a rather weak-headed and a very unsteady
and changeable. They have long since been brought to. very reduced
circumstances, and about 1808 or 1810 sold the landed property which was
bequeathed to her by her father, which brought them 2500 pounds. She died
in abject poverty about 1820 or 1821. For some considerable time before her
decease, her troubles of mind and afflictions of body were so severe, that to
procure repose she took opium, by the frequent and free use of which, she
was, towards her later end, in a state of almost stupification.
FOURTH. CATHARINE. Married to Theophilus Laverack. He was the
very opposite to the husband of her sister Sally, a sensible man and a steady
Methodist for more than 50 years. He was also a local preacher, and in very
respectable circumstances. (Grandmother says that sister Middlebrook
quarreled with Catharine, and swindled her out of a considerable part of her
fortune.) It was on his property that the first Methodist Chapel at Swinefleet
was built, and was raised at the joint expense of Jonathan Dunn, (uncle of my
grandfather), John Dunn (my grandfather, and Theophilus Laverack. As the
chapel was built on T. Laverack's ground, he bequeathed it to his son,
Samuel (also a local preacher) whose son Samuel Laverack (also a local
preacher, now resides at Haddlesey, a few miles from Selby. At his house I
have more than once visited (1855) and to the family the chapel either still
or until lately (1828) did legally belong. Catherine, his wife, died in the
prime life leaving her husband two sons.
FIFTH. JOHN, born Septr. 20th, 1739, 0.S. (Old style. After receiving a
respectable education he still remained with his father, and was brought up
a farmer, and continued to reside with him until about the time of his
marriage, When he was somewhere about twenty years of age, the Methodists
began to hold meetings at Reedness, a village about a mile east of Swinefleet,
and in those days, such a circumstance formed a topic for common
conversation. The poor Methodists were the subjects of unnumbered
callumnies and slanders. At that time grandfather had a companion (who
afterwards became his brother-in-law) Theophilus Laverack, who being a
respectable young man,
 
Page 80 about his own age, he became much attached to him. Among the subjects on
which they conversed, these upstart Methodists were one. To them they could
not tell what to think. They knew, indeed, that they were everywhere spoken
against, but they thought that it would be more candid before they condemned
them, first to hear them for themselves, and to this they were probably
prompted by a little curiosity to see what kind of beings there were.
Accordingly, they agreed to go together, so that they could help each other in
an emergency. When the time for preaching arrived, they set out, but took the
precaution of going across the fields, and entering Reedness by a back and
private lane, that they might not be seen. They had not, however, been long in
the place, before the simplicity and spirituality of the worship, quite overcame
all their prejudice. They saw clearly that the Methodists were slandered, that
they were not the kind of monsters they had been represented. Thus, by the
loss of all prejudice, they were prepared to receive the word preached, and
under that sermon, they were both convinced that they were sinners, and
needed a Saviour, and from that time they both became earnest seekers of
salvation. Grandfather was a long time labouring under conviction, earnestly
groaning for redemption. First one, then another, stepped into liberty before
him; much prayer was made on his behalf, one and another pleaded with God
for him, but there was no answer, One evening, after returning from a meeting,
he retired to bed under an unutterable pressure of mind. He thought that night
he would have the blessing. He kneeled down to pray, but as though his tongue
had been tied, he could not utter a single word. After kneeling some time,
unable to break silence, he became quite discouraged, thought that it was now
all over, and he might as well give it up at once, Under the influence of this
temptation, he arose and got into bed. Next morning he went to grip, but God
had not given him up, though he had given himself up. While at his labour, he
felt drawn to pray, and about ten o'clock in the forenoon, while engaged in
mental prayer, the Lord broke in upon him, and released him from the burden
of all his sins by the application of a part of the evangelical prophet's song, -
Isaiah 12,1. "0 Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wart angry with me, thine
anger is turned away and thou comfortest me". Such was his joy and wonder and
rapture that he immediately threw aside his work tools, and ran home to
communicate the joyful news. The first person he came to was his sis Catharine,
who, when informed of his blessedness, calmly said, "The Lord be praised." But
she seemed in too low a tone of feeling for him, and he said, "Why, Sister, you
are as dead as a stone, you make nothing at all of it' you treat it as a common
affair."
Sometime after his conversion he went to a Lovefeast at Amcotts, a
village in Lincolnshire, just over the Trent. There he saw a young woman that
made a deep impression on his mind. He accompanied her home - I believe at
that time she resided with her Uncle. Obtaining some encouragement, he
continued his visits, Bat probably some objection had been made to his not
having a home of his own, or his prospects in life, for on one occasion he asked
his father what fortune he would give him, when he replied, "Thou may tell her I
will leave thee 2000 pounds", Continueing to persue his object, he ultimately
succeeded, and on Octr. 8th, 1765 he was happily united in marriage to Ann
Pettinger, he being a little turned 24 years and she nearly 22,
 
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