From John Wesley to Mary Fletcher (nee Bosanquet) in Madeley, Shropshire, April 2nd, 1785
Although addressed to the Rev. John Fletcher, John Wesley is writing to Fletcher's wife Mary. Wesley talks of his travel plans and his intention to visit Bolton, Wigan and Liverpool, Chester, Holyhead and then Dublin that spring. Wesley was planning to journey through all Irish provinces by the end of June that year for preaching and engagements on Methodist business. He had just turned 82 years of age.
This is one of John Wesley's last letters to Mary Fletcher before her husband John Fletcher caught typhoid fever that summer and died on 14th August 1785. Wesley had thought of John Fletcher as his spiritual and practical successor. Fletcher's unexpected demise at 55 years of age resulted in turmoil within Methodism's leadership following Wesley's own passing in 1791.