LEGH RICHMOND (1772–1827) was born in Liverpool, England. His father, Henry, was a physician. As a child he had a bad fall and permanently injured his leg. He attended Trinity College in Cambridge and received his A.B. and M.A. degrees. He soon married Mary Chambers. The young clergyman entered the ministry in the Isle of Wight in 1797. When he read Practical View of Christianity, he had a spiritual awakening, and respectfully named his son Wilberforce, after his much loved friend William Wilberforce. On the Isle of Wight he met The Dairyman’s Daughter, The Young Cottager, and The African Servant. In 1805 he moved to Turvey, where he was a much loved pastor and wrote The Fathers of the English Church.
The Introduction to his Letters and Counsels to His Children:
The Rev. Legh Richmond is extensively known to the Christian community, as the author of those beautiful narratives which it has pleased God to bless to the conversion of so many souls: “The Dairyman’s Daughter,” “Little Jane, or the Young Cottager,” and “The African Servant.” He holds a conspicuous place among the evangelical clergy of the established church in England, who have adorned the present century.
His ministerial career commenced at Brading, in the Isle of Wight, in 1797, whence he removed to Turvey, Bedfordshire, England, in 1805. Here he continued to labor with untiring zeal, and earnest devotion, for the good of souls, till the period of his death, May 8, 1827.
But it was not merely in public life, and in the exercise of his professional duties, that his character shone with unwonted brilliancy, and won for him that rich meed of undying affection which attaches to his memory. It was at home, in the bosom of his own family, as the guardian and companion of his children, that all that was most “pure” and “lovely,” and “of good report,” all that was most gentle and winning in the qualities of his mind and heart, developed itself. If, as a minister of Christ, he was a “lively stone” in God’s “spiritual house,” at his own fireside he was burnished gold, reflecting the image, and bearing the impress of the great Refiner.
The very deep and active interest which he took in the missionary and other benevolent institutions, and the acceptableness and success of his eloquent sermons and appeals in their behalf, led to his performing several tours in various parts of England and Scotland, as the advocate of those institutions; but for which tours, a number of these beautiful letters to his children would probably not have been written. His journey in Scotland with his son Wilberforce, whose health had declined, also occasioned letters to his children remaining at home; and even under his own roof he occasionally wrote letters to his children, as a happy means of promoting their temporal and eternal benefit. These letters, selected from his memoir and the “Domestic Portraiture,” and now first issued as a separate volume, bear ample testimony to the loveliness of his domestic character; and we trust they will interest and benefit the youth of our land, to whom, “he being dead, yet speaketh.”
The letter from his daughter, containing the particulars of her father’s last days, which is annexed to these letters, beautifully portrays the tenderness and deep veneration with which he was regarded by his children. Truly “the memory of the just is precious,” and “the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”
Books that Legh Richmond wrote:
- African Servant (The), The Cottage Conversation, and A Visit to the Infirmary
- Beauties of the Rev. Legh Richmond: selections from his writings
- Dairyman's Daughter (The)
- Domestic Portraiture; or, The Successful Application of Religious Principle in the Education of a Family, Exemplified in the Memoirs of Three of the Deceased Children of the Rev. Legh Richmond; Introduction by Edward Bickersteth; Compiled by his friend from Thomas Fry
- Fathers of the English Church (The); or, A Selection from the Writings of the Reformers and Early Protestant Divines of the Church of England
- Memoir of Hannah Sinclair
- Memoir of Wilberforce Richmond, Second Son of the Rev. Legh Richmond, Drawn Chiefly from Domestic Portraiture
- Rev. Legh Richmond's Letters and Counsels to His Children (The): Selected from His Memoir and "Domestic Portraiture."
- Statement of Facts (A), Relative to the Supposed Abstinence of Ann Moore, of Tutbury, Staffordshire; and a Narrative of the Circumstances Which Led to the Recent Detection of the Imposture
- Young Cottager (The)
T. S. Grimshaw, A Memoir of the Rev. Legh Richmond A.M., New York:G.&C.&H. Carvill, 1829.