7 February 1793

John Disney, Sloane Street, to Mary Hays, Gainsford Street, 7 February 1793.1

Feb: 7. 93.

Sloane Street.

Dear Madam

       The Memoirs of Hollis,2 I intend leaving at Mr Knott’s3 tomorrow and am persuaded you will be much pleased with the perusal of them.

      The 2nd part of Dr Priestley’s Appeal4 waits your acceptance; a duplicate, from the author, is now in my study.

       We shall be glad to hear that you got safe home on Mon. Eveng, and that the Hollysian Memoirs reach[ed] yr hands. With our united best respects to your sister, Mrs Hays & and your whole house

                        I am Dear Madam

                                    Most sincerely yours

                                                 J. D.

Address: Miss Hays | Gainsford Street |Southwark

1 A. F. Wedd Collection, shelfmark 24.93(4), Dr. Williams's Library, London; Brooks, Correspondence 279.

2 Memoir of Thomas Hollis, Esq., by Francis Blackburne, 2 vols (London, 1780). 

3 Thomas Knott was a Dissenting bookseller/publisher at 47 Lombard Street from c. 1789 to 1800; afterwards he operated in Warwick Street, Oxford Street, and Regent's Street to about 1830. Most likely he was a Baptist (he published numerous works by Baptists) and was possibly related to the Knott family of Baptists at Eythorn, including John Knott (1723-1793), who ministered to the Baptist congregation at Bow from 1785-93, and his son, John Knott (1753-1818), who served the Baptist congregation at Eythorn from 1776 to 1816. Mary Hays used him as the printer/seller for her first two publications in 1792 and 1793, and given her mother's Baptist allegiance (and that of John Dunkin), it adds even more to Knott's likelihood of being a Baptist himself. 

4 The title suggests one of Priestley's most famous pamphlets, An Appeal to the Serious and Candid Professors of Christianity (London: J. Johnson, 1771; 1775; and 1783), which also appeared in 1791 in Three Tracts by Joseph Priestley (this is the same tract that was answered by John Dunkin in 1783). However, the tract mentioned above is actually Priestley's An Appeal to the Public, on the Riots in Birmingham, published in 1791 by Joseph Johnson, and republished in 1792 with a second part, titled An Appeal to the Public, on the Subject of the Riots in Birmingham, part II To which is added, a letter from W. Russell, Esq. to the author. By Joseph Priestley.