1788 JOHN WESLEY. An Aged Wesley Writes Regarding the Importance of Christian Education for Children

1788 JOHN WESLEY. An Aged Wesley Writes Regarding the Importance of Christian Education for Children

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If you have been looking for an affordable Wesley letter, a feat in and of itself, and a single page example, thus making it suitable for framing, this is it!

A very clean, family preserved, 1 page original autograph letter entirely in the hand of an aged [85yrs] John Wesley. The present letter has been in the possession of the family of the recipient, Rev. Thomas Cursham, since 1788, only being relinquished this year.  It remains unpublished, though another letter from Wesley to Cursham has been published in 1931 edition of his correspondence. 

Thomas Curshman was Methodist-leaning divine at Sutton, Nottinghamshire, and an influential young leader from the beginning of his ministry in 1775 to his death in 1805. He started a school in 1784 [some sources say 1777] to serve the impoverished children of the community and to raise them in the faith, but also fulfilling a vital gap in education in the working-town. His extensive correspondence between he and Mary Fletcher [wife of John Fletcher of Madeley's wife] are held by the Rylands Archive in England. At that point, one begins to think of legacy and the mechanisms for training the young. 

The advertisement for Cursham's school read: "Young gentlemen are genteelly boarded, and carefully taught the English, Latin and Greek languages; Writing in all its various Hands, Arithmetic, Merchant's Accounts, the Use of the Globes, Algebra, etc for 14 Guineas  a Year and a Guinea Entrance."

Derby, July 12, 1788 

"I am glad you sent your sermon and the conditions ['proposal' crossed out] of your School. Something of the kind was much wanted among us.  Persons are frequently inquiring of me for what school they can send their children. I judge they may very safely intrust them with you.  I wish you good success by your undertaking and I am, Dear Sir your affectionate Brother J Wesley'"

Addressed in Wesley's hand To The Rev'd Mr Cursham, 8 x 12 inches, non-textual loss where sealed and opened as usual; separating where folded and partly laid down. 

Also included, both signed by Cursham, a fascinating pair of early bound works on John Fletcher. Recall that Cursham was friends with Fletcher's wife. So, another wonderful early Methodist association.

John Wesley, A Short Account of the Life and Death of the Rev John Fletcher. Thomas Cursham's copy, signed, dated 1800 and extensively inscribed by him with Fletcher's attributes, further signed on the fore edge Rev:Tho Cursham, contemporary calf, upper board detached,

1786, Melvill Horne, Curate of Madeley, Posthumous Pieces of the late Rev John William de la Flechere [John Fletcher], Thomas Cursham's copy, signed.

Both accompanying books in fair condition only, but wonderful little associations.