Eliza Flower at Harlow to Benjamin Flower at the Creaks, 69 Cornhill, London, undated [postmarked Friday, 30 January 1807].
My dear Love
I hope you got to Town in whole skin with your mettlesome [honeybriar?]as I should ere this have received some information respecting you and I trust you will arrive at Harlow in perfect safety to morrow and by day light. We sent the quarter sheet to day by Bury Coach the whole will go to morrow by Stortford. Young Nottage has called to day to say that the Hoddesden people do not wish Mr Harrison to go there yet, as their meeting is either rebuilding or undergoing some repair so that you need not go to Henham on Sunday. I am rather glad of this as I was quite afraid you would have over fatigued yourself. Mr Hawkes has called this afternoon & wished to have seen you. I have received a parcel from Cambridge a letter from Mr John Eaden enclosing two letters from the Cambridge office one from Rowland the paper maker and another a tooth powder ad for the Cambridge Intelligencer.
Sarah is most completely covered with a rash so nearly resembling the measles that Mr Dobson cannot undertake to say whether it is that disorder or a common tooth eruption. She has the symptomatic cough of the measles, but is much better than we could expect for my own part I am enclined to think it is the measles she has been in my lap the whole of the day but she does not loath her food & is very passive & good she has made me sing to her & talk so much about ‘papa’ nunnun Town&c &c that I am really hoarse she is just gone into a warm bed & fast asleep. Eliza is very well has been quite entertaining and good she has been singing “no my love no” in great stile I assure you. I am surprised at the correctness of her ear and at the facility with which she learns a new tune—we made a great mistake this morning in leaving your Bag at home. I sent it on by Stortford Coach to Mr Creaks. I half expect to hear from you to morrow—pray don’t make it late before you are home I intreat—remember me kindly to all friends.
Your ever affectionate
Harlow Friday eveng—
Note: Two individuals are worth noting in this letter. A Thomas Nottage of Henham, Essex, placed several advertisements in the Intelligencer for a shopman to live with a Dissenter’s family in the grocery and drapery business (CI 24 February 1798, 16 March 1799, 10 May 1799). The “Young Nottage” mentioned above and the Miss Nottage who appears in letter 118 are probably Thomas Nottage’s children. He may have been a descendant of the Rev. John Nottage (1720-76), who pastored the Baptist meeting at Potter Street, Harlow, from 1753 until shortly before his death in 1776. Nottage’s will, dated July 1774, mentions that he had three brothers-Joseph, Isaac, and Nathan-all living in Essex, where the family had originated. As this letter shows, the Nottages of Henham were much involved in Baptist matters in Essex. My thanks to Stephen Hulcoop for information on Rev. Nottage’s will. Joseph Harrison (1749-1821) of Oldham, who pastored between 1775 and 1789 in Essex and Cambridgeshire. He was ordained as an Independent minister at Wenden on 30 May 1775 (Church Book: St. Andrew’s Street 57). In 1782 he became pastor of a Dissenting congregation at Foulmire, Cambridgshire, but some problems in his ministry led to his forming a Baptist meeting at Harston. In 1789, however, he left for Yorkshire. See “Statistical View” 631; The Baptists of Yorkshire 103. For the complete annotated text, see Timothy Whelan, ed., Politics, Religion, and Romance: The Letters of Benjamin Flower and Eliza Gould Flower, 1794-1808 (Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales, 2008), pp. 327-28.