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The Sleepy Magistrates’ Proclamation

I cannot close this head without inserting as great a curiosity in its kind as, I believe, was ever yet seen in England; which had its birth within a very few days of this remarkable occurrence at Walsal.


“To all High Constables, Petty Constables, and other of his Majesty’s Peace Officers, within the said County, and particularly to the Constable of Tipton [near Walsal]:

Whereas, we, his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said County of Stafford, have received information that several disorderly persons, styling themselves Methodist preachers, go about raising routs and riots, to the great damage of his Majesty’s liege people, and against the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King:

“These are, in his Majesty’s name, to command you and every one of you, within your respective districts, to make diligent search after the said Methodist preachers, and to bring him or them before some of us his said Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, to be examined concerning their unlawful doings.

“Given under our hands and seals, this        day of October, 1743

“J. Lane

“W. Persehouse”

N.B.—The very justices to whose houses I was carried and who severally refused to see me!

Saturday, 22.—I rode from Nottingham to Epworth, and on Monday set out for Grimsby: but at Ferry we were at a full stop, the boatmen telling us we could not pass the Trent; it was as much as our lives were worth to put from shore before the storm abated. We waited an hour; but, being afraid it would do much hurt if I should disappoint the congregation at Grimsby, I asked the men if they did not think it possible to get to the other shore. They said they could not tell; but if we would venture our lives, they would venture theirs. So we put off, having six men, two women, and three horses in the boat.

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