Bp. W. Ward



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Bp. Ward writes about land inheritance, his endeavors in building new churches, conflicts within Europe and emigration, amongst other updates.




Mr. Wilk, Colleges of Ohio and Man, Philip Moore, James Moore, London, Douglass, Peel, King's College, Isle of Man, Lord Kenyon, Rosses, Marriott, Mary Ohio, Bishop of Sodor & Man, Gt. Hokesley, farmers, Ohio, Bishop Wilson, Wilson School, Methodism, Wesley, St. Patrick, Western Isles, York, Canterbury, Virginia law of inheritance, primogeniture


Right Reverend, My very dear Friend,

I have been in expectation of hearing from you for some time in consequence of my last communication respecting the lands of Mr. Wilks. With the hope that you may be able to serve that good man, a son of one of the old prophets of this Isle & Vicar of this parish; and also with the selfish view of benefiting our Infants, or favourite infants, the Colleges of Ohio & Man. I send you a large packet of documents, instruction, & authority, to ascertain & secure the property. It may prove a gracious God-send to our important Institutions, and should you be able to succeed in this, the Hand of God will indeed have been evident & His wonderful Providence be displayed in the affair, from first your Virginia laws of inheritance. Should primogeniture not exist we are safe. The enclosed will will [sic] shew who the other claimants are. The grandson of Philip Moore is a bad subject, and I am not aware that there is much worth among any of his collateral descendants. It would therefore be very desirable that you should be able to separate James Moore’s portion of the lands from Philip’s. And be so good as to beware how you satisfy any enquiries that may be made respecting their rights; I mean Philip’s heirs. Only be so good as to let me know. Communicate to me at first instead of Mr. Wilk direct. I mean communicate to him through me. No time is to be lost, as the late Widow of James Moore & her present husband Mr. Wilks are old; & she is very infirm.

I hope to hear soon from you & I pray that I may always have good news from you, of all your great & good doings, & well being. I am creeping on after you in the same line, “hand passibus [equis]”, of the twelve churches I hope to be able to build. It is remarkable how similar my career is to yours. A good citizen of London whom I have never seen gives me €500 in addition to near one that he had subscribed before and he & three other Christian friends of his whom I have never seen either, are undertaking to build out of their own pockets, my two new most expensive churches in Douglass & Peel, which will cast above €3,000! I am also making my way in God’s name to the good graces & Royal Bounty of our excellent new King, in behalf of my College, which his majesty I hope will allow me to denominate King’s College, Isle of Man. I trust the Lord God who thus prospers his own work in my weak unworthy hands, will spare me until I see it completed. In this case it behoves me not to lose a moment of time, for I am on the eve of the age of Man. But what is all this compared to what He has enabled you to do within the last seven years. I live in the mother church, amidst an [anxious] & opulent people. You live in the infant church in the Wilderness of Ohio. Who can even dispair [sic] of success in any work however seemingly improbable, which is undertaken with a single eye to the glory of God & the good of his people? He is sure to raise up Kenyons, Rosses & Marriott, even in a strange land, thousands of miles from us, beyond the seas. Let us never despair, then, or be weary in well doing. We shall succeed, if we faint not.

Sorry I am to tell you that dear Kenyon is very likely to lose his last remaining daughter. She was better when I heard last, but there are great doubts of her. Poor dear Man, he takes these tender losses very deeply to heart; but so does he the love of the hand, which lays them upon him.

Good Marriott is still carried throughout an active life with a delicate frame, doing as much in the gospel as he does in the law

We never forget you. I hope you retain some kind of remembrance of us. Mary Ohio lives in the fond hope of seeing your face once more. You will find a different kind of reception from that you first experienced, you will find no Hubbubs in your way. All Europe is on fire, and God only knows when or how it will be extinguished. The Belly is at war with the Members; and the Belly is a Beast that is not easily satisfied. The people will be King, and every one independent of King, God, & the laws. This is the state of affairs on the continent. In [hence] the Roman Church is no longer to be the exclusive party of the state, but all religious are to be equally tolerated alas! Poor Pope but the very reverse, I was rolling in riches as a Rector of Gt. Hokesley compared with my circumstances as Bishop of Sodor & Man; but poor as I am I will send your hundred pounds as soon as you [invest] Mary with her title to her estate. When you have done that & tell me that you wish to have an eligible occupier on it of any trade or calling that you may prefer, I shall not fail to ship him off to you. Only let me have such a letter as I can shew, to induce good subjects that are inclined to emigrate to settle in Ohio. There is a great spirit of emigration in these dominions. The population is overflowing & standing in each others way, & the agricultural society are at a low ebb. We are loaded with taxes a vast portion of which falls on the land, & the produce far below a remunirating [sic] price in the market. The farmers are therefore stopping short before the lose all, collecting together their little capitals & emigrating to various parts beyond the seas. So this is the time to stock, your college grounds with a good breed, if you have friends here to choose & recommend. You may be sure I would be very particular & nice in the choise [sic] of a tenant in the immediate vicinity of the College.

I enclose a paper to which I have to request your particular attention & kind services. It is an affair of one of the most respectable families in this island. It is very possible you may be able to have the mother investigated. It would afford me peculiar gratification to be able to serve the family through you. It is unnecessary to take u my paper to say another word upon the subject knowing your attention for old England & Ireland, & your veneration for Bishop Wilson’s, not to mention Bishop Ward’s, Isle of Man. You would, I know, like to learn the state & condition of the House of God in this once celebrate religious Isle. To make short work there of the church history; for the last half century & more, religion & learning have been suffered to language, & retrograde, & fall into wreck & ruin. When Bishop Wilson died near fourscore years ago there was scarcly [sic] churchroom for the people, at least only [just] enough; they were there 20,000. There has not a church been built or enlarged since, & now the population is 50,000 souls. The consequence of which is dilapidated churches & not churchroom for a sixth part of the people. You may easily conceive the consequence of this. Schism has crept in. [?] Wesleys methodism has sprung up everywhere over the Isle. But such is the attachment & veneration of the people for the church & per ordinances, retaining still a tincture of the Wilson School, that as soon as the church bell rings on the sunday, they spurt up their meeting houses, & repair to church, as many of them as can find room to squeeze in, & they never recieve [sic] the sacrament but in church. So that I know, as soon as I can provide churches for them, they will all return to the true fold. If I live till spring I shall begin my churches, & I have not less than 15 churches & chapels to erect from the foundation, & work enough before me, if my episcopate were to last as long as that of Bp. Wilson, 50 years. My episcopate can be but very short: but if I can lay the foundation the great Head of the church will raise up labourers & means to finish the work. It is He who founds a new Church in Ohio, & I am sure He will take care of his ancient Church of Man, the oldest in these Western Isles. St. Patrick converted the Marks in 444, & formed it into a Bishoprick under [St.] [Germains] before either Down or [?] York, or Canterbury, so that we can trace an uninterrupted succession of Bishops of Man during the long period of 1305 years. You will be sorry to hear that the church of England has a [host] in [runs] against her at this time. She is on the eve of severe persecution. Satan is striving hard for the power to sift her as wheat. But Christ has promised his presence, & to be with her to the end of the world. And I can truly say that there has not been a period since her first formation in England & Ireland in which the clergy from the Bishop to the [larate], have been so active so zealous & I may also say so godly righteous & sober, as in the present day. This is the great source of my hope tho’ God may see good to chastise us, He will not entirely break us up & cast us off. This little Isle is the only peaceful seat of the Church at this time. You will be sorry to hear that the good Lord Kenyon is likely to lose another Daughter. But his daughters are [?] for Heaven, & their death will be a translation from a world full of sin & sorrow, to one of endless rest & glory. Dear Marriott also has a Daughter in a bad state of health. That excellent man is worked too hard. I am sadly affraid [sic] he will wear himself and before his time. He has both Mr. West’s defence [sic] in the press & my affairs in his hands added to his own heavy bearing

I will try to procure a promise of the same grant from the other heirs, if you will let me know how to set about it. If they can set it only I should like to know without delay the Virginia law of inheritance. Pray write as soon as you receive this & tell me what you think.

God grant you may be able to tell me you are in good health succeeding in the work of God, chearful [sic] & full of hope & bright prospects. May the peace of God keep your heart & mind through Christ Jesus. Write soon to your faithful friend

& affectionate Brother W. Sodor & Mann

Letter to Philander Chase



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