16 June 1791
Hugh Worthington,1 Highbury Place, to Mary Hays, Gainsford Street, 16 June 1791.2
Mr Worthington’s sincere respects to Mrs Hays, is greatly flattered by her letter, & sent a reply to Salters Hall to be deliv’re’d by the pew-opener a fortnight ago; but as she did not see Mrs Hays, returned it. Mr W is now going to Brighton for a few days, but hopes to call upon her towards the end of next week; & in the meantime must say what his feelings dictate, the the mind which could indite the Epistle with which he has been favour’d, must possess that love of truth, & desire of dischargeing duty, which will not only ever be welcome to Communicate at Salters Hall, but ought to be welcomed into any Church on Earth wch pretends to the name of Christian.
Highbury place, June 16, 1791
Address: Mrs Hays | Gainsford Street | Southwark | June 17, 91
1 Hugh Worthington (1752-1813) was slightly older than Mary Reid, Mary Hays, and Elizabeth Coltman, but known to them all in the 1790s through his earlier Leicester connections and his later career in London. He studied at Daventry Academy under Caleb Ashworth, a friend of the poet Anne Steele. He came to London in 1774 as the afternoon preacher for the Dissenting congregation meeting in Salters' Hall. He was ordained as minister there in 1782 and remained with that congregation until his death in 1813. Hugh Worthington, Sr. (1712-97), was minister at the Great Meeting, Leicester, from 1743-97, the congregation in which Hays's friend and correspondent, Mary Reid, was raised, along with her friend, Elizabeth Coltman. Worthington, Jr., was an Arian, but opposed to the Socinian influence among the Unitarians.
2 A. F. Wedd Collection, shelfmark 24.93(9), Dr. Williams's Library, London; Brooks, Correspondence 265.