21 May 1793

Hugh Worthington, Highbury Place, to Mary Hays, Gainsford Street, 21 May 1793.1

Highbury P.  May 21, 93

Dear Madam

         Last week I was gone to an Associatn of Ministers in Buckinghre, or you would have had a reply to yr kind letter. My chief object last saturday sennight in Gainsford St was to drink tea wth you, but hearing at Mr Brown’s2 of the recent Event in yr family I thought it much more decent to decline my visit a few days. – This week in ye latter part of it (ye part you speak of as convenient to yrselves) I have to attend a public service out of town, and several Baptisms to administer in town; therefore if I hear nothing to the contrary, I propose waiting on you thursday afternoon next week.

       Mrs W joins in Respects to yr whole Family. – You may tell yr sister Authoress, & in so doing tell yrself, that a venerable old Critic pronounced a high Encomium on the good sense & good stile of yr late volume.3 Now if both matter & manner be good, the inward Substance & ye outward dress – what can you desire more? Take ye well earned Consolation.  Hugo & I are much obliged by yr present, and ye lines you have addressed to me lay increasing obligations on yr undeserving but affectionate Friend

                                                H Worthington.


Address: Miss Hayes | Gainsford Street | Southwark

1 A. F. Wedd Collection, shelfmark 24.93(17), Dr. Williams's Library, London;  Brooks, Correspondence 281.

2 Either Samuel Brown, son-in-law of Robert Robinson and friend of the Hays family, or Michael Brown, minister at Gainsford Street where the Hays family had worshiped for many years. Most likely it is the former, because the Browns were probably members at Salters' Hall, where Worthington preached, and may have contributed through their friendship to introducing  the Hays's to Worthington and to the decision by Mary and Elizabeth Hays to join Worthington's congregation in 1792. 

3 Reference is to Hays's Letters and Essays, with an aside complimenting the work of  Elizabeth Hays (she contributed two tales to the volume) as a writer in her own right.