William Holland was writing at a very bad time in England – French were revolting, as were the poor, and the Established church was struggling against the rise of Methodism:
Sunday May 11 1800 My Little Boy is up, loud and noisy but I have forbidden his dum being a Sunday. My wife takes Physick again. I hope it will do her good but think it relaxes too much Few here at Church in the morning At Ashold in the afternoon very full. In Country Parishes there are always more in the afternoon than in the morning. I saw a great number of people passing about dusk, I suppose it was from a Methodist Meeting at Hodges. These men do a great deal of harm, they pretend to great sanctity, but it is ostentation, not reality. They draw people from Established Church, infuse prejudices in them against their legal Pastors and of late they are all Democratic and favourers of french Principles and I suspect that some of the Philosophers get among them under the character of Celebrated Preachers and so poison their minds against the Established church.