Having now made up my mind on the subject, I informed Mr. Ramsay, that in a few days I should be leaving Teston, that I might begin my labours, according to the pledge I had given him.
Continuation of the fourth class of forerunners and coadjutors up to 1787—Author resolves upon the distribution of his Book—Mr. Sheldon—Sir Herbert Mackworth—Lord Newhaven—Lord Balgonie (now Leven)—Lord Hawke—Bishop Porteus—Author visits African vessels in the Thames—and various persons for further information—Visits also Members of Parliament —Sir Richard Hill—Mr. Powys (late Lord Lilford) Mr. Wilberforce and others—Conduct of the latter on this occasion.
On my return to London, I called upon William Dillwyn, to inform him of the resolution I had made at Teston, and found him at his town lodgings in the Poultry. I informed him also, that I had a letter of introduction in my pocket from Sir Charles Middleton to Samuel Hoare, with whom I was to converse on the subject. The latter gentleman had interested himself the year before as one of the commitee for the Black poor in London, whom Mr. Sharp was sending under the auspices of government to Sierra Leone. He was also, as the reader may see by looking back, a member of the second class of coadjutors, or of the little commitee which had branched out of the Quakers in England as before described. William Dillwyn said he would go with me and introduce me himself. On our arrival in Lombard-street, I saw my new friend, with whom we conversed for some time. From thence I proceeded, accompanied by both, to the house of James Phillips in George-yard, to whom I was desirous of communicating my resolution also. We found him at home, conversing with a friend of the same religious society, whose name was Joseph Gurney Bevan. I then repeated my resolution before them all. We had much friendly and satisfactory conversation together. I received much encouragement on every side, and I fixed to meet them again at the place where we then were in three days.
On the evening of the same day I waited upon Granville Sharp to make the same communication to him. He received it with great pleasure, and he hoped I should have strength to proceed. From thence I went to the Baptist-head coffee-house, in Chancery-lane, and having engaged with the master of the house, that I should always have one private room to myself when I wanted it, I took up my abode there, in order to be near my friend Richard Phillips of Lincoln’s Inn, from whose advice and assistance I had formed considerable expectations.