Timothy Wiggin



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Timothy Wiggin writes that the Bishops of London and Exeter have been soiled by Puseyism and have been giving funds to Puseyites that Wiggin thinks should go to the poor. He then writes that the British have lost confidence in the American government due to the results of the 1844 election, in which James K. Polk won the presidency.




Timothy Wiggin, Philander Chase, London, Exeter, Bishops, Puseyism, America, economics, poverty, election, 1844 election, James K. Polk, American government


London Jan’y 1845

My Dear friend

I have delayed writing to you for a very long time in the hope of being able to place some money at your disposal buy Mortimer’s partner disappointed me by not keeping his repeated promises to pay me the amount realized for your reminiscences. I at last obtained his promissory note payable in 4 months for about £34 due aboutFebruary next, and if paid I will place the amount with some 5 or 6 pound from other sources with Mess’rs Ralstons to be paid to your order in Philadelphia. The amount will be about £40 in all. Two Miss Jacksons have sent me a check for thirty shillings. Here the all absorbing topic is Puseyism. The Bishops of London & Exeter have been the most prominent actors & the result is unfavorable to their judgement & reputation as Divines. They have caused much stride and irritation in their dioceses and Shyness if not ill will in their neighborhoods & in families. The tide has turned against them & I doubt not they would gladly get back to the starting point but this they cannot do. They have raised a flame which they cannot extinguish. The high & low Church are arrayed against each other in irreconcilable hostility, and the high Church party are the Schismatics. They recommend peace & good will while they are blowing the flame. I think the novelties will be withdrawn as the best thing that can be done under existing circumstances, but this will not restore harmony. Perhaps a revision of the Rubric & articles of the Church may take place and produce greater uniformity in Church service. It is much to be regretted as its tendency is regrading to the Church while it strengthens dissenters. I fear such will be the effect in America. We are now living in a small village called Barnes about 6 miles from Harley Street which we like better than town. My health & Mrs Wiggin’s has improved since we came here and dear Adeline’s is much the same. She is now own only child at home. Mrs Beaumont & Charlotte are in the South of France for the benefit of the health of the former, who has been quite and invalid for the last two years. Holme & Frederick are very well and employed in papermaking from [Straw] in Gloucestershire. William is now Rector of Oddington in the same County & son in law of the [Deacon]. He is a very promising young man & in high favor with his Bishop. Ellen is well married and lives at the University in Glasgow of which her husband is Professor of law. Eliza Emily & Augustus are in America which you probably know. My misfortunes in America so diminished my business as to render it necessary for my Sons to engage in other lines and I trust they will do well. Perhaps the loss of most of my property may not ultimately be disadvantageous to them as their reliance is now chiefly upon their own exertions and property derived from industry is more valuable than when inherited.

The Bishop of London has been a zealous promoter of Church building and I [believe] he has consecrated over 40 in and about London. The livings were placed at his disposal and the has given them to Puseyites which has much displeased the contributors & disappointed them also for people will not attend them. Funds for building more, although wanted, cannot be raised if the presentations are to belong to him. The Bishops of Exeter has not been more judicious but the other Bishops are spectators rather than actors. I hope you will be supported in your undertakings by the good people in America on whom I fear you must rely as little or nothing more can be expected here. You have many warm friends here but their means are now directed to other objects namely to the promot[ion] of religion in the Colonies, and the provisions for [the] poor at home. I am sorry to say pauperism is on the increase here and that it appears that it increases with the increased means provided for the poor. Our statistical reports show that benovent[sic] institutions (Hospitals & C excepted) induce more necessities than they relieve. Emigration is not much encouraged except to the Colonies where the better sort go, although the overseers of the poor in London are not unwilling to empty their poorhouses by shipping their most wretched immoral poor for Newyork[sic]. It is to be regretted that good honest hardworking farmers do not go to the new American states where their condition would soon be greatly improved, but America is in disgrace here which prevents such emigration. Repudiation by a few has tainted the whole American character and the late Presidential election has much diminished confiden[ce] here in the general government

Letter to Philander Chase



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