20/04/2017

Reference to Beddome by William Steele in 1777

In a letter written from William Steele 1715-1785, brother of Anne, to his 24 year old niece Mary Steele 1753-1813 (who married Thomas Dunscombe only in 1797) on Tuesday, September 9, 1777, Steele refers to a smallpox epidemic in Bristol that necessitates his returning to Broughton via Amesbury, He hopes to “see Stonehenge”. He mentions a rumour that Beddome's protege Mr [Nathaniel] Rawlings has been asked by Trowbridge Baptists to leave Bristol [or Broughton?] and return to Trowbridge as their preacher, working in the clothing trade with his wife's relations. He says that he met Mr and Mrs Bedome [sic] at Mr Norton's on September 8 and Beddome (by then over 60) preached at Broadmead on the Sunday morning (presumably September 7). He also describes Henry Kent who “has become so great a beau” in second mourning. The letter includes a postscript from “Amanda” [Miss Amanda Froud] to “Sylvia” [Mary Steele].

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