Book Review Researching Rutland	Registered Charity No 700273 Rutland Local History & Record Society
Mary Drake and the Missionary - By Margaret Stacey Published in 2010 by Uppingham Methodist Church Council - 20pp, with illustrations. Price: £2.00 + p&p This A5 booklet contains a fascinating vignette of the environment – for Europeans at least – of the West Indies in the early nineteenth century, as experienced by Mary Bell (née Drake) of Uppingham, who married the Rev John Bell in 1838. The couple went to Antigua in a party of Methodist missionaries; their numbers were depleted by illness, and John was soon moved to the small island of Nevis where he too succumbed to yellow fever shortly after the birth of their son John Henry in 1839. Mary and her son were cared for there by George Webbe, and were eventually well enough to return to England. In time Mary remarried, becoming Mrs Field and remaining active in the Uppingham Methodist community for many years; she died in 1901. This essay, which draws on the archives of Uppingham Methodist Church, is a splendid example of the little snippets of information that can come to light as a result of local research: how else would we know that a child had been born to an Uppingham mother on the island of Nevis? Copies can be obtained via the Uppingham Local History Group’s contact at ulhsg@fsmail.net. Tim Clough