Frances Barrett Ryland Diary: 1789

[Thursday] May 7 1789

My mind is often in a state of anxiety, not so much on my own account, as for others in whose present and future interest it would be wrong to be indifferent. This leads me often to pray that not only a kind providence may appear on their behalf, but more especially that the Lord would manifest his mercy and make known the riches of his salvation to their souls – I have many times reflected with pleasure on the discourse I heard last Sabbath morning. “This people have I formed for myself” it seemed to make a deep impression on my heart, and yet how strange during the administration of the Lords Supper I felt little of that lively emotion of soul the love of Jesus demands. In the evening I read a sermon of Dr Witherspoons on “Crucifixion to the world by the Cross of Christ.” This discourse I found highly interesting, happy the christian whose heart is weaned from the world, and daily subdued by the efficacy of the Redeemers Sacrifice! To-day my views have been directed to contemplate the Saviour as “Delivering us from the wrath to come.” Thus wonderful does Jesus appear in every character he sustains for the salvation of lost sinners! I hope I felt him precious, love so great – so free – so unmeritted claims every exertion of any soul in his cause. Passing the other day through a Church-yard I was affected with the variety and mutability which appeared written on all things here below Ah! thought I, life seems little worth but for the favor and friendship of God, and, the sweet enjoyment of it above, is enough to make even death desirable. But I suffer through bondage. Death is a formidable foe – nature recoils at his approach – There is something very humiliating in the idea of being laid low with the clods of the valley and becoming a feast for worms. It is only when faith can realize him whose death has perfumed the graves of all his saints, and whose triumphant resurrection of my hope, that enables me at any time to welcome this last enemy.

Lords day

Never did I feel more anxiety and care then at the present time, and never did I stand more in need of divine strength and guidance. The responsibility attached to the tender character I may shortly sustain, beside other considerations make me look forward with fear and trembling. – Yet I must not forget who hath hitherto helped me, nor distrust the all-sufficiency of his grace who can succour in this, and every other time of need. The discourse this morning was very interesting, “For unto thee O Lord have I opened my cause.” I found it consolatory and encouraging. I feel greatly concerned lest by any means I should act unbecoming my character as a christian. The connections I have in prospect is so very an important one, that to a faithful discharge of the duties it impresses, I shall need the constant agency of the holy Spirit. May I be always on my guard carefully watching over my heart, and striving to maintain a close walk with God. Whether I shall have few or many trials whether called to go through good report, or through evil report nothing short of a steady fixedness of soul for God will enable me to persevere and hold out unto the end.

June 1789 (aged 28)


A review of Jehovah’s faithfulness leads me I trust to refer the issue of every dispensation to his all-wise disposal. The purer and correct my views are of Gods perfections, and of his universal sovereignty, the more will they have a happy tendency to reconcile my mind to the whole of his divine will. Thus if trials await me, they are by his permission, and whatever earthly good I possess it is his gift, and should be the means of bringing me nearer to himself, nor ought any creature to be valued farther than as God is therein glorified. In this way may I then look up to that precious Redeemer, and realize every favor as proceeding not only from his love, but as bought by his sufferings –

There’s not a gift his hand bestows

But cost his heart a groan –

I want to feel more delight in God as the source of all intellectual enjoyment, thanks be unto his name for revealing himself in the person of his dear son as being reconciled unto sinners. What a wonderful mediator in Jesus! by faith in his blood the vilest sinner has a plea God cannot resist, it enters heaven and cries for peace and pardon! Yes, this alone is the foundation of my hope, I would abhor every idea of self-righteousness, Christ is the end of the Law – the way to God, – the life of the Soul, and as the life he communicates partakes of his own nature so the soul that is quickened by his grace can never die.

Lords day [June 1789]

I consider this state a time of probation and conflicts, not of ease and rest. The ways of God are often very mysterious, were they not, it would be still more wonderful, for who by searching can find out God, who can find out the Almighty to perfection! To-day I have found divine Ordinances to be blessed, the provision of Gods house yields a sweet repast to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Whenever I am enabled to contemplate the nature and goodness of God I rejoice that my times are in his hands, and this encourages me when I look forward to the change of circumstances in prospect. He that searcheth the heart knoweth the way I have taken before him – he knoweth my every desire – that I may never treat any created good as my portion – that every new mercy may be an incentive to gratitude and obedience – that I may aim in every relation in life at glorifying him, and be fitted by every tender feeling to discharge the duties of maternal love. The thought of presiding in the place of one I so dearly loved, and whose temper and conduct was so truly amiable, fills my heart with a thousand anxieties. No, I shall never forget the sweetness of her love and esteem! My hope is in God, otherwise the charge and care of her dear Infant, would occasion still greater concern. May the recollection of her kindness, affection, and sympathy, not only soften every care, but animate me to the discharge of duties however difficult with all fidelity.[1]

Lords day June 21 [1789]

Thus far the Lord hath helped, he hath magnified the riches of his mercy and faithfulness, I trusted in him, and he hath not failed one. May I never forget to whom I am indebted both for present and past mercies. Last Thursday day ever to be remembered, I entered the marriage state and became united, to one of the kindest, and best, of men! I feel the importance of my situation, because I am sure of all others, it will require great delicacy, and propriety of conduct. Yet if the Lord is my helper I need not fear, but am encouraged to cast all my care upon him who careth for me. O that I may be assisted in the discharge of every duty, possess a lowliness of spirit becoming my station, and excited to greater gratitude by this expression of the divine goodness. O that amidst the most pleasing delights of earthly good, may I have a supreme regard to that inheritance which is above. If temporal mercies are sweetened and endeared as being the effects of Jesus’s love, what will it be to be in the possession of all the blessings of grace and glory! – what will it be to have Just, Clear, and Comprehensive views of the goodness, mercy, and love of God! In that blessed state there will not be the least shade of darkness in the soul, but it will be full of light, full of love, and full of Joy!

Lords day June 28 [1789]

Yes, in the midst of innumerable mercies, and endearments of life, the Love of Jesus surpasses them all! Well might the Apostle say, and that with a peculiar emphasis, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift”! What is life, and all that this world calls good, if separated from a life of faith in the Son of God! But devotedness of heart to the Redeemer and a realizing sense of his eternal dominion, in ordering and regulating every minute circumstance of my life, cannot fail to cheer and sustain me while passing through the changing scene of time – Having entered upon new cares, the discharge of new duties naturally follows, and in this case whither should I look but unto him who hath hitherto helped me. My present enjoyments call for much gratitude, yes, my cup of earthly bliss is far greater than many of the companions of my youth, and surely were I to be unmindful of the Giver, my ingratitude would be of the basest kind. I have received much kindness, and civilities from numerous friends, and passed through the little ceremonies that usually attend entering upon the marriage state. May it be my daily concern to glorify God, in the station in which he has placed me, to desire after conformity to his lowly image, and to seek to be adorned with all the graces of his holy Spirit. My views as to divine things are at present very contracted, my understanding how shallow & imperfect, my heart how callous, hence the criminality attached to my knowing no more of God, and being no more consecrated to him. O that he who commanded the light to shine out of darkness may enlighten my understanding, and give me to see much of his glory as it shines forth in the person of his dear Son!

Lords day July 5 1789

The blessed God hath commanded us to keep holy this sacred day, and when he is pleased to prepare the heart how sweet and refreshing are the ordinances of his house to them who wait upon him. To-day I have been favored above thousands of my fellow creatures, in hearing of the love of God – the preciousness of Jesus, the glorious excellency of the Gospel, and the importance of being in a waiting posture for the coming of Christ. Under this discourse [I] was led to desire that my convictions of the evil of sin may be deeper and more abiding, for in general this is one criterion by which to judge of growth in grace. Truly the clearer my views are of the rectitude of the divine nature the more I shall learn to be abased and wonder that ever there could possibly be a way for my escape – Yet seeing the Lord can be magnified in my salvation I will entreat him to sanctify me throughout. They who are joined to the Lord are become one Spirit with him. O I want to be delivered from all sinful diffidence, and to have my faith strengthened in God, resting implicitly upon his word, for he is faithful who hath promised.

Lords day July 12, 1789

Ah! how slow to confide in God as my helper and strength! Alas no sooner do new duties or new difficulties appear but my heart begins to tremble, so little as yet have I attained in the divine life! The dear child now committed to my care is an important trust, I cannot look upon him without some tender emotion, the remembrance of her who bore him, and whom I dearly loved, binds my heart still closer to him, I trust the Lord will impart all needful wisdom and prudence that so I may act a kind and faithful part and make up in some little degree the loss he has sustained.

O what a blessing in the Sabbath! It is a delightsome day – The ordinances of Gods house are like well-springs of water that refresh and purify the Soul, and thereby the mind becomes fitted and strengthened to endure with patience the whole of the divine will. Nothing can hurt me but Sin, therefore may I watch and fancy against it as my worst enemy – God is alsufficient and therefore can supply me with grace and succour, may I cleave to him with full purpose of heart. That which is my duty is no less my privilege and felicity surely the wisdom and goodness of God herein appear peculiarly endearing.

Lords day July 19 [1789]

In the course of the past week I have had reason to admire the tender compassion of a gracious God. My great Adversary has been casting forth his fiery darts in order if possible to destroy my peace. The temptations with which I were assailed were of a peculiarly distressing nature, and had not the Lord been my helper, and stayed my mind upon himself I must have been overcome. Yes when the enemy came in like a flood, then the Spirit of the Lord lifted up a standard against him, and enabled me a poor sinful creature to make my boast in God, thus am I caused to sing of Judgment and Mercy. What a privilege is a throne of grace, it is always acceptable, thither I may repair with safety, and be permitted to tell the Lord all my griefs. His ear is ever open to the voice of prayer – and that he will not despise the supplication of the most destitute is enough to encourage my trust in God.

Lords day Augst 2 [1789]

I find I am a stranger in a strange land, and it is a folly to suppose I shall meet with no difficulties or trials by the way while passing through it. I see daily cause to watch over my heart and to take heed unto my steps according to the divine word, the Lord still guides his people by a right way to a city of habitation, though for wise ends he may try their faith and patience by leading them far round about. I feel at seasons as though I could leave all my concerns with the blessed God, and confide implicitly in him, but e’er to-morrow my heart is ready to sink into distrust and I am exercised with a multitude of fears respecting both present and eternal things, so fickle a mind do I possess! Yet these various painful frames I trust work for my good, they make prayer more sweet and the word of God more precious. O to rest simply upon the faithfulness of Jehovah! Now would this have a tendency to animate my soul to press forward in the divine life, and never to slacken in my pace untill I should behold his face in righteousness.

Lords day Aug. 16 1789]

The late exercises of my mind convince me very forcibly, that of myself I am unable even to oppose or overcome the least temptation. The corruption of my nature is so deep-rooted and unholy that without divine grace operating upon my soul I should soon be drawn aside to evil practices and commit iniquity with all greediness. But it is all of mercy that I am kept from falling, and God who is rich in mercy, can revive his work upon my soul. Ah still I complain, still I mourn, and mourn I must while I feel the remains of so much ingratitude and carnality. Alas! where is that breathing after conformity to the blessed God, that hungering and thirsting after righteousness – that feeding upon the divine word as the bread of life to my soul! Is not Jesus as lovely as ever? Is he not deserving of my warmest & supremest affections? O then I will entreat more earnestly for quickening grace, that I may possess more ardent love to the precious Saviour – that I may delight more in the divine testimonies and be helped in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgivings to make known my requests unto God. Thus each day would I cast all my care upon him who careth for me.

Lords day Aug. 29 [1789]

The more I reflect upon the native disposition of the soul, the more I am convinced that sin, or apostasy from God has stripped me of every thing lovely, and left me exposed to the curse of a holy and righteous law. Under this awful condemnation I must for ever have laid, had not God of his own heart revealed himself in the person of his dear Son, as pardoning iniquity transgression and sin. But herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Yes, the love of God shines with ineffable glory and brightness in the person and work of our dear Redeemer. O what a blessed and sure foundation is now laid for a poor sinners hope in the mercy of God. I have nothing to plead but the merits of Jesus, I have no other refuge whither I can flee for safety but to him, and his name is as a strong Tower. Henceforth may I aim more simply to glorify God, acknowledging his hand in every fresh mercy and enjoyment of life – To-day we received the very effecting information of Mr Chace’s death. My heart felt tenderly for surviving friends, I trust every divine support and consolations will be granted, My dear J. R. improved the dispensation from Ps 39. In respect to submission to the divine will I think I perceived more beauty than ever from that clause, “because thou didst it” – Thou the Alsufficient God. Thou the all wise God. Thou the infinitely Just and Holy God. These views of the divine character are enough to silence every rising murmur, and to absorb the whole will into entire resignation to the unerring conduct of the Almighty. He who gave, has taken away & his name must be adored.

I was very languid in body & mind in the afternoon, but heard with much pleasure & attention in the evening. I long to hear of souls renewed and quickened by the holy Spirit. The prosperity of Dives lies near my heart, I would prefer Jerusalem to my chief Joy – The subject was “Who are these that fly as the clouds & as doves to their windows.”

Lords day Sep. 5 [1789]

This has been a week of great conflict but the Lord has sustained me. I have had to make diligent search, and to commune with mine own heart. I entreated of the Lord to strengthen me for all his will, that my faith might not only be sustained but increased. The Lord was pleased to hear the voice of my supplications, and gave me to experience that with every temptation he was able to make a way for my escape. I was excited to earnestness in prayer, and this was one blessed means of confirming my soul, that the religion of Jesus alone can soothe the troubled breast. But I shall never have done mourning and complaining while I carry about with me this body of sin: and am finally delivered from every evil that is in the least degree contrary to the divine nature to be rescued from the slavery and bondage of sin, and to live unto God in newness of life in the sweet liberty of the gospel. O how wonderful that ever poor sinners should be redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus, and be invited to receive the blessings of Salvation without money and without price!!

Lords day Sep. 12 1789

I cannot live a day without renewed supplies of grace from above. My own strength is weakness, perfect weakness, but the Lord is good, and faithful, he will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish. Dreadful is this state where the heart is alienated from God! The carnal mind does not love to contemplate the divine perfections – does not delight itself in his righteous law – sees no beauty in the Saviour, nor desires to be made conformable to his will. But the soul that has been quickened and made alive to God by faith in the Redeemer, longs after an increase of spirituality of mind, and to be deeply humbled and abased at the divine footstool.

My obligations are every moment increasing to bind my heart to love and gratitude to Jesus the mediator of the new Covenant!

Lords day Sep. 29 [1789]

The Lord knows what were the best means of keeping me near to himself. – He knows my heart and all its secret workings – he knows my weakness and how easily I may be overcome, he knows my instability, and how greatly I stand in need of his sustaining hand. – Yes he alone knows how to humble & abase me in his sight to give me just views of the abominable nature of Sin, and to draw me by his blessed Spirit to a compleat reliance on the Saviour. – The Lord is a jealous God, nor will he suffer an Idol to usurpe his throne, thus the dearest connections in life, outward ease or prosperity, must not be suffered to have an undue influence on the mind, every thought must be brought into subjection to him who is worthy of our supremest delight.

Lords day Sep. 26 [1789]

I greatly lament that my heart is no more consecrated to God. I am grieved to think how little I have yet attained, and have felt very deeply to-day of the burden of indwelling sin. & it is a sharp conflict in which the soul is engaged, the mind has not only to contend with the hidden evils of the heart, but with the powers of darkness. Satan is a subtle adversary who knows how to entangle and distress the soul by a variety of temptations – Yet that I am upheld amidst all my weakness and depravity and not left to the will of my enemy to be overcome must be owing to a gracious supernatural power. O I am infinitely indebted to the Saviour, his arm alone brings salvation. May I learn to rely on his tender compassion & cleave to him as my best my only Friend. Ah! I little thought when first I felt the drawings of divine love that ever the fervour of my affections would abate to such a degree. O I need quickening grace that I may live more devoted to God!

Lords day Oct. 4 [1789]

The sermon I heard this morning from Luke 21.14 and the other in the evening from Gen 19.14 were truly excellent! O how refreshing is the return of the Sabbath! The longer I live the more deeply do I feel the importance , not only of realizing eternal and invisable objects, but of the duty of taking God at his word, of living by faith upon his precious promises, and of delighting only in him as the chief good. On the contrary it is the very nature of sin to darken the understanding, – to give a wrong bias to the mind, and this invariably leads to act in opposition to the divine Will, and our own best interest. May every past instance of the treachery of my heart humble me, and may I daily renew my applications to the Saviour as a poor sinner for mercy and forgiveness. – I think the Lord is teaching me by the late exercises of my mind, to remember that I am at all times dependant upon him for the endearments and comforts of life and that nothing short of his grace sanctifying every mercy, can enable me to use and improve them for his glory. May the Lord abundantly bless the labours of his dear Servant this day & may we strengthen each others hands in God. –

Lords day Oct. 11 [1789]

How weak are my strongest resolutions unless made in dependance upon divine strength, and how ready is my heart, the more strict my duty is, and the more it has in it of the nature of holiness to be opposed to it by a variety of excuses this surely must arise from a corrupt and a unclean heart, a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. May I therefore watch and pray & keep my heart with all diligence. Whatever is permitted as a trial of my faith, shall eventually prove for my good; even the most painful dispensations when they humble and bring my soul nearer to God, are blessings in disguise. O the tender compassion of a dear Redeemer! he will not leave me though he exercises my faith and love. It is only my own impatience that increaseth the weight of every trial. Prayer is a precious refuge! O the astonishing love of Jesus! Heaven itself came down & bled to save Sinners, vile apostate sinners, rebels against a holy God!

Lords day Oct. 21 1789

A grateful and humble frame of mind is always suitable for a poor sinner, it is a becoming disposition, because we are constantly dependant upon God, and under daily & hourly obligations to him. – The trial of faith is much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire. The Lord does not leave me though I have deserved his displeasure, thanks be unto his name for subduing the pride of my heart, and not leaving me to be ruined by my own impatience. In the course of this week I have had to endure a painful conflict, but I trust it will prove that herein the Lord seems to do me good. I have entreated the divine forgiveness of all that was wrong in me, that pride might be subdued and that in every future trial I might look up unto the strong for strength, and thus be enabled to speak and act at all times as seeing him who is invisible!

Lords day Nov. 1 [1789]

During the two past weeks, I hope on the whole my mind has been stayed upon God. Considering the fallen state in which I am involved it would be strange indeed to expect freedom from trials, rather my chief concern should be that I may possess a suitable frame of mind under every divine appointment this appears highly important, because in proportion as my views are of the divine character, so will be my submission and approbation of the Lords unerring conduct. The word of God ought ever to be treated as a sufficient ground for reliance, and certainly the more spiritual my affections & desires are the more readily shall I rest upon the whole revealed will of God.

The Lords grace is all sufficient, and his strength is made perfect in weakness. These and such later promises have greatly helped to cheer me in this present state of conflict. There are seasons when I desire to be all activity for God – to have every sin subdued to breathe the very spirit of Christ. At other times I feel so much insensibility & indifference to divine objects that the divine forbearance in not casting me off for ever is both wonderful and admirable. The Lords work however is perfect, his word is my security on which he hath caused me to hope, and he has engaged not to forsake the work of his own hands. Thus though weak & helpless I rejoice with trembling and rely upon him to strengthen me, that I yield not though I should die in the conflict. He that hath loved me will help me to triumph even in death!

Lords day Nov. 15 [1789]

Alas! how great must be that insensibility when the love of Jesus makes little or no impression, when I can approach his Table and behold the symbols of his dying love and yet feel no more tender movings of soul! This frame of mind made me return home with a heavy heart, and led me to entreat of the Lord forgiveness, humility and self abasement of soul. O how has the deadly poison of sin polluted every faculty of the mind and rendered the heart callous to the most affecting display of divine wisdom in the great plan of Redemption. I am grieved to think I should feel no more lively affection to that dear Redeemer, to that good Shepherd who layed down his life to save his sheep – Surely never was such love or pity known!

Lords day Nov. 29 [1789]

O how apt to forget those things that are of the greatest importance, to lose sight of my obligations and dependance upon God! Sin is very deceitful in its operations on the soul and by its treachery too frequently beguiles my heart and unfits me for communion with the father of Spirits. This proves to me how needful it is to know myself – to be frequently looking into my own breast – to search and try my ways, and to know the motives by which I am influenced. The examination may be painful but I am sure it is needful and salutary. Lately I have felt more than ever my need of prayer – of watchfulness over my temper, and guarding against the first motions of evil. I have had cause to be deeply humbled and to beg of the Lord that he would hold me up and keep me every moment lest I should dishonour him & ruin my own soul. Devotedness to God is a reasonable service, nor is it ever well with me when I forget my obligations to the virtues of divine grace. I long to feel more of the power of the spirit of God dwelling in me, it is his sacred influences that can render effectual the means of grace, that can subdue & bring down the strong hold of Satan and make me to possess a tender sympathising Spirit towards the afflicted & distressed – Mr Hall preached to day.[2]

Lords day Dec. 13. 1789 [1789]

I have always reason to extol the goodness, mercy and faithfulness of Jehovah, but as to myself I see more cause than ever to be abased, and to have the pride and self-sufficiency of my heart subdued. I am often amazed when I reflect, how the Lord can bear with such a proud sinful worm, and why it is that he does not crush me to nothing, this I can only resolve into his Sov’reign goodness, because his compassions are infinite. O that I may be more concerned to cultivate humbleness of mind, to be clothed with humility in an Apostolic exhortations, and surely of all graces it is highly becoming in young Christians.

Our kind friend Mrs T.[3] has been in a very precarious state of health for these last three months. Many prayers are offered up on her behalf, there are few private Christians whose life is more truly valuable & desirable. Activity and zeal for the glory of God was an uniform and prominent feature in the whole of her christian conduct. Yet should infinite wisdom see meet to remove her hence, may she have a joyful and a triumphant entrance into the Joy of her Lord. Happy happy the soul that leaves this vain world, and all it’s trifling concerns to enter into the immediate presence of the Lamb! Yet it is the glorious vision of God and the Lamb that will constitute a source of eternal felicity to all the Redeemed!

O my soul be then in a waiting posture for the coming of the Lord!

Lords day Dec. 1789

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” this subject was just suited to do me good, it bespeaks with what care and circumspection I should always act, & how needful it is frequently to examine my own heart. To receive the truth as it is in Jesus, the mind must be open to conviction and the heart humbled, for the divine favor is only valued in proportion to the sense we have of our own unworthyness. I trust I have been led to see my need of just such a Saviour as is revealed in the gospel. But when I reflect on the greatness of him who gave himself an atoning sacrifice for sin & yet feel no more love, gratitude and ardour of Soul I blush and am ashamed.

I need strength from above rightly to improve every blessing – nor am I able to withstand the least temptation without divine succour. Seasons of affliction are not joyous, but nevertheless being for the trial of our faith and patience shall eventually be for our profit. Such is now the extreme weakness of dear Mrs Trinder that many fears are entertained respecting her recovery. This is indeed a trial that touches the tender ties of an endeared friendship, but I know it is the Lord and he has a right to do what seemeth him good and surely this is enough to quiet and console the mind however deeply it maybe affected. The God who governs all things cannot act contrary to his own divine perfections – The whole of his conduct must be invariably right, because it is always under the direction of infinite Wisdom, Goodness and Truth. O how many, and how great are the motives to submission & entire complacency in the divine Will.

Lords day Dec. 27. 1789

Though certain that a life of devotedness to God is the only possible way for a rational, dependant creature to be happy, yet when I reflect on my profession and conduct, and realise the dignity of my immortal soul I appear very inconsistent with myself, and little if at all promote that end to which every other end should be subordinate. Was but my heart set more upon the things of God, & more earnestly engaged for the best welfare of poor sinners I should find a present reward. May this consideration excite in me a spirit of prayer for the enlargement of the dear Redeemer’s Kingdom. “The Lord shall send the rod of his strength out of Zion – he shall be exalted and greatly extoled, for of the increase and peace of his government there shall be no end” – Many circumstances of a temporal nature have lately transpired for which I ought to be very thankful. May the Lord keep me humble and make me more obedient and grateful. I hope I was profited by the discourse this morning.


[1] Reference here is to John Ryland’s first marriage to the former Elizabeth Tyler, daughter of Robert Tyler of Banbury, on 12 January 1780; she died of consumption on 23 January 1787, leaving him with a young son, John Tyler Ryland, born 9 December 1786. As the next entry reveals, Frances Barrett married John Ryland on 18 June 1789, foreshadowing a similar situation a decade later when Maria Grace Saffery will replace Elizabeth Saffery as the second wife of John Saffery of Salisbury. In each instance, both second wives were very close friends with the first wife, and both replace the deceased within a fairly short span of time. With Saffery, however, no children had yet been born.

[2] Robert Hall (1764-1831), former student at John Collett Ryland’s academy at Northampton, friend of Mary Steele of Broughton, and, at this time, serving as assistant to Caleb Evans at Broadmead in Bristol and classical tutor at the Baptist Academy.

[3] Martha Trinder (d. 1790) operated a successful boarding school for the daughters of nonconformist families in Northampton and the greater London area from 1765 to 1789, much of that time in connection with the male boarding school operated by John Collett Ryland during his tenure as pastor at College Lane, 1759-85. In 1768 she married Thomas Trinder (1740-94), a former usher in Ryland’s academy. Frances Ryland was correct in her fears about Martha Trinder’s health; she would die a short time later, in January 1790. Thomas Trinder died in 1794, leaving £500 to the church at Northampton to be distributed among the poor. For more on Martha Trinder’s school and some of her pupils, see ‘John Ryland at School: Two Societies in Northampton Boarding Schools’, Baptist Quarterly 40 (2003), pp. 90-116. For Thomas Trinder, see Baptist Annual Register, vol. 2, pp. 286-303; College Lane Church Book, Northamptonshire Record Office, ff. 43, 190.