This article examines the content, context, and implications of two letters of 1774 among the papers of the second Earl of Dartmouth, one from Revd John Fletcher, vicar of Madeley, Shropshire, the other from Thomas Rankin, a Methodist itinerant preacher in America (in which he mentioned Fletcher). The central issue is the nature of the preferment, which Lord Dartmouth seems to have offered to Fletcher. In turn this raises issues around the relationship between the national church in England and the Methodist movement, and also ecclesiastical aspects of the growing political crisis in North America, on the verge of revolution.

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