Text of letter from Rev John Vardill (1746-1810) to the  Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the health of his bother-in-law Rev Charles Birtwhistle (1756-1791).













No. 30 Clipstone Street

Portland Place

Feb 16th  1790


May it please your Grace


At the request of the Revd Charles Birtwhistle, I beg leave to certify the state of his health for some years past.


About six years ago, he officiated as Curate at Gisburn, in Yorkshire, and was much esteemed by the Parish. But he was unfortunately seized with a Vortigo, which occasioned him, once or twice, to fall down during the service. This terminated in a diurnal headache; which became so violent, that he was ordered to London for advice, and was attended at my House by Dr. Warren, who could give him no relief.


After some time, the disorder was mitigated; but not so far as to render it prudent for him to apply to his studies or indeed read at all. His nervous system has been for some years much relaxed and last spring he was confined, many weeks to his bed and given over by the Physicians.


His moral character is most excellent and his understanding very good when he is not agitated or depressed. He has preached many sermons before the University which were much admired and many of his private compositions which I have seen before his illness were excellent.


His family are respectable for their Property & Influence in Yorkshire and they have always been warm friends of the Church & Government. The livings of Skirbeck and Fishtoft are advowsons belonging to the family. I have been eight years Rector of the latter and for my own character I beg leave to refer your Grace to Lord Auckland or Lord Hawkesbury, flattering myself that your Grace will pardon this tribute to justice, I beg to remain your Grace’s most obedient, humble servant.


John Vardill