Mary Scott, Milborne Port, to the Revd John Taylor, Manchester, [Wednesday] 30 April 1788.
I received your letter, my dear Edward, yesterday afternoon. I do not know whether yo forgot to tell Mr. Owen the time you wished him to meet us, or whether I forgot to tell you, but I cannot get out by 11 o’clock, I must interline that. The wind has been so cold for some days past that I have not been able to go out yet, & I fear it will not become more mild till we have rain. Whether I shall be able to meet you at Church at the time proposed is uncertain; but you must come at a venture for aught I know.
Twice have I desired you, my dear Edward, to present your Mother in my name with a copy of the “Messiah,” but whether you have given orders to the Bolton bookseller, as I desired you, I cannot tell. I am glad your sale produced you so much. I hope you will not have occasion to borrow much money. Pray do not forget the license, as Mr. Petty did when he went to be married. You do not tell me whether you design to come through Bristol or not. If you do, you will get there on Saturday evening I suppose, & you need not leave it till Tuesday morning early; then you will have time to call upon your acquaintance. I wish you to see poor Mrs. Barrett. And I think there would be nothing amiss in your calling on Mr. Loyde & settling with him for such extra copies of the “Messiah” as he has sold. You will remember, only such as he has sold, my dear Edward, as he has had a quarter of a hundred for which he is to be accountable to me. The reason you may assign for my desiring you to call is that you will not be in Bristol again for a twelvemonth, & my brother perhaps not for a much longer time. Mr. Loyde is to give 1s.6d. per copy. I should also be glad if you would call at Mr. Martin’s, silk dyer in Wine Street, & enquire when the body that I sent him to be dyed will be sent to me. I must bid you adieu, my dear Edward. Mary Hebditch is come to carry my letter to Sherborne; I do not choose to send this letter to the Councillor’s; the direction might occasion some speculation.
I hope it will please God to alter the weather soon. I am afraid it will be bad weather on Sunday & Wednesday sennight. What I shall do then I do not know. Indeed, indeed, I am in a very unfit state to be married. People begin to enquire when you come I find, though I have not yet been seen out of doors. You did not tell me whether you had got a supply from Daventry, though I was very anxious to hear.
And now I close a correspondence of eleven years, in the hope that you will be a more agreeable companion than you have been a correspondent. Were it not for that hope I should be wretched indeed. Pray remember me kindly to your Father, Mother, & all your family.
You will send me a few lines to inform me which way you come & when I am to expect you.
Text: Scott and Scott, A Family Biography, pp. 67-68; address page notes, "to be left till called for at the Post Office, Manchester, Lancashire." For an annotated text of this letter, see Timothy Whelan, ed., Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840, vol. 4, pp. 289-90. Mary Scott’s mother died in October 1787; Scott writes to Taylor just prior to their marriage the first week of May 1788 in the parish church at Milborne Port. A brief notice of Mrs. Scott, most likely written by Mary or Russell, appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine (November 1787), p. 1024: "Mrs. Scott, of Milborn Port; whose life was exemplary; and her loss severely felt by the poor, and lamented by her friends."