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Averell, Adam (1754–1847), Primitive Wesleyan Methodist minister, was born on 7 May 1754 at Mullan, co. Tyrone, where his family had settled in the sixteenth century. His parents, Adam Averell, farmer, and Mary Johnston, belonged to the established church and were related to ...

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Bembridge [née Kirkland; other married name Harrison], Sarah (c. 1794–1880), Primitive Methodist travelling preacher, was born at Mercaston, Derbyshire, the daughter of Rowland Kirkland (d. 1813). The family were Wesleyan Methodists of farming stock, and preaching services were held for a number of years in their home. ...

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Bourne, Hugh (1772–1852), founder of the Primitive Methodist church, son of Joseph Bourne, farmer and wheelwright, and his wife, Ellen Steele, was born at Fordhays Farm, in the parish of Stoke-on-Trent on 3 April 1772, and, after some education at nearby Werrington and ...

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Hugh Bourne (1772–1852) by Watson Smith, c.1827 Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum

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Bultitude, Elizabeth (1809–1890), Primitive Methodist preacher, was born on 12 August 1809 at Hardwick, Norfolk, into a large and very poor family. She had no formal education. Her parents attended the nearby Wesleyan Methodist chapel, taking their children with them. When Elizabeth was thirteen her father died; the family was forced to search for work and so moved to ...

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Clowes, William (1780–1851), a founder of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, the son of Samuel Clowes, potter, and Ann, daughter of Aaron Wedgwood (a member of the illustrious ceramics family), was born at Burslem, Staffordshire, on 12 March 1780, and employed during his early years as a potter. He was considered one of the finest dancers in his neighbourhood and for many years led a dissipated life, but on 20 January 1805 he was converted during a prayer meeting. He soon established a prayer meeting in his own house, became the leader of a Wesleyan Methodist class, and joined a society which endeavoured to promote the keeping of the sabbath. He was one of the attendants at the first camp meeting ever held in ...

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William Clowes (1780–1851) by Samuel Freeman, pubd 1854 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Oxtoby, John [nicknamed Praying Johnny] (1767–1830), evangelist and Primitive Methodist preacher, was born early in 1767 at Little Givendale, near Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire, the son of Robert Oxtoby, a farmer, and his wife, Jane. He received a little education at a country school, worked in agriculture, but lost carefully acquired property by 'placing it in faithless hands' (...

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Porteous [née Thompson], Mary (1783–1861), Primitive Methodist itinerant preacher, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne, youngest child of John Thompson, joiner and cabinet-maker, a strict Presbyterian. After his death, when Mary was very young, his large family were impoverished. Having left school at seven, she taught herself to read and write, and worked in a factory from the age of eleven; becoming ill, she worked at home spinning yarn, often reading as she laboured. When her mother died on 31 December 1801 a Presbyterian neighbour took her in. She met ...