Manuscript letter addressed to Rev. Benjamin Hurst, Wesleyan minister at Goulburn, New South Wales, from fellow Wesleyan William Peggott, Leicestershire, dated 2 June 1855.
Benjamin Hurst (1811-1857), in company with Francis Tuckfield, was sent from England to work as a Wesleyan missionary among the Port Phillip Aborigines in 1838. Hurst worked with Tuckfield in the Geelong-Colac area for a number of years before his appointment as minister at Goulburn, the fledgling pastoral township on the South Tablelands of New South Wales located on the periphery of the Braidwood and Major’s Creek diggings.
This unpublished item of correspondence relates to two other letters addressed to Hurst in 1853-54 which are held in the NLA (MS 10497). Its contents reveal that although Hurst was far away on the other side of world, he was still very much involved with – and financially obligated to – the Wesleyan Methodist Church and its activities in his home district in Leicestershire.
Entire letter addressed to ‘Rev. B. Hurst, Wesleyan Minister, Goulburn, New South Wales’; manuscript in ink,  pp quarto; headed ‘Hinckley, June 2nd 1855’, written by William Peggott, a Wesleyan minister in Leicestershire; address panel tied with 6d brown Queen’s head; original folds; roughened at one edge where the wax seal was broken (no loss of text); very clean and legible.
Peggott writes that he has enclosed in the letter a recently drawn-up report on the Burbage Wesleyan Day School (Leicestershire), over which he has had to lecture Mr. Smith for the ‘slovenly’ manner in which it was compiled. Peggott tells Hurst that ‘we shall greatly need your £30 aid as your brother Charles is very much minus having paid the teacher’s salary’. He then goes on to update Hurst on the progress of plans for a residence which has to be approved by the Chapel Committee. ‘At our District meeting held at Dudley it was unanimously recommended that [the] Conference should appoint us one single and two married ministers according to your proposal … We had to record the death of four ministers viz. Rev. R. Melson, Rev. Henry Ranson, Rev. S. Sudden … and the Rev. N. Vibert. The two latter died very suddenly – these are loud calls to be ready. We had to lament over upwards of 200 members decrease but thank God we have 500 on trial. I fear we shall have a great decrease on the year throughout the connexion – such things are cause for great heart searchings and deep humiliation. O when will the Lord think on and be merciful to our Zion. I am still looking after our Chapel matters and hope some day to draw out a complete schedule to your satisfaction … If your liberality will extend to another £100 making the 400 for Hinckley House, an early remittance will be esteemed a favour … Christian love to Mrs. Hurst and yourself….’