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Asbury, Francis (1745–1816), a founder of the American Methodist Episcopal church, was born on 20 August 1745 at Hamstead Bridge, in the parish of Handsworth, Staffordshire. He was the only son of Joseph Asbury and Eliza Rogers, both farmers and devout followers of Methodism. He was educated at a local school until the age of twelve; he began to preach, as a local preacher, at the age of eighteen, and having been admitted as an itinerant preacher at the age of twenty-one, travelled throughout ...

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Barker, Joseph (1806–1875), Methodist minister and politico-religious controversialist, was born on 11 May 1806 at Bramley, near Leeds. His ancestors, originally of Keighley, had been settled in this area for several generations as farmers and manufacturers. The identity of his parents has not been discovered, though it is known that his father was employed in woollen manufacture and served for some time in the militia, and that ...

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Benson, Joseph (1749–1821), Wesleyan Methodist minister, was born at Melmerby, Cumberland, on 25 January 1749, the son of John Benson (d. 1769), a landowner, and his wife, Isabella Robinson (d. 1779). His father, intending him to enter the church, placed him in the care of the local Presbyterian minister, from whom he received a classical education....

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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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Bunting, Jabez (1779–1858), Wesleyan Methodist minister, the only son of William Bunting of Monyash, Derbyshire, a tailor in Manchester, and his wife, Mary Redfern, was born in Manchester on 13 May 1779. The circumstances of Bunting's boyhood and youth suggested that he would develop in an entirely different direction from that which he finally took, and the later legends associating him personally with ...

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J. H. Thorpe

revised by Adam Jacob Levin

Cayley, Cornelius (1727–1779), Methodist preacher and writer, was born in Brompton, Yorkshire, on 23 April 1727, the son of Simeon and Elizabeth Cayley. He was educated at a public school for about four years and, when nineteen, he became a clerk in the ...

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Cennick, John (1718–1755), lay preacher and Moravian minister, was born in Reading on 12 December 1718, the son of a clothier who was of Quaker descent. Brought up in the established church, he experienced an evangelical conversion on 6 September 1737 in his parish church in ...

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Charles, Thomas (1755–1814), Methodist preacher, was born on 14 October 1755, probably at Longmoor, Llanfihangel Abercywyn, Carmarthenshire. He was the son of Rees Charles, a prosperous farmer, and his wife, Jael Bowen; David Charles (1762–1834) was his younger brother. All their sons were given an education. ...

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Clarke, Adam (1762–1832), Wesleyan Methodist minister and scholar, was born in Moybeg, Kilcronaghan parish, co. Londonderry. His father, an Anglican, was a village schoolmaster and farmer; his mother was a Presbyterian. His childhood consisted of a series of life-threatening mishaps. He was educated locally, fell under the influence of the Methodists in 1778, and met ...

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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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Coke, Thomas (1747–1814), Church of England clergyman and founder of Methodist missions, was born at Brecon on 28 September 1747, the third but only surviving son of Bartholomew Coke (1701/2–1773) and Ann(e) Phillips (1712/13–1783), and was baptized on 5 October at St Mary's Church, Brecon...

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Edwards, Lewis (1809–1887), Calvinistic Methodist minister and college head, eldest child of a small farmer, Lewis Edward (1783–1852) and his wife, Margaret (1785–1854), was born on 27 October 1809 at Pwllcenawon, near Penllwyn in the parish of Llanbadarn Fawr, Cardiganshire. His parents were pious Methodists of conviction and the young ...

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Elias, John (1774–1841), Welsh Calvinistic Methodist minister, was born at Crymllwyn Bach farm in the parish of Aber-erch, Caernarvonshire, on 6 May 1774, the eldest of the six children of Elias Jones (1752–1822) and his wife, Jane Roberts (1749–1833). The most decisive influence upon his early religious development was his paternal grandfather, ...

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Fletcher, John William [formerly Jean Guillaume de La Fléchère] (bap. 1729, d. 1785), Church of England clergyman and Methodist writer, was baptized on 19 September 1729 in Nyon, Switzerland, the last of eight children of Jacques de La Fléchère (1678–1756), army officer and assessor to the bailiff in ...

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Flew, (Robert) Newton (1886–1962), Methodist minister and theologian, was born on 25 May 1886 in Holsworthy, Devon, the elder son of the Revd Josiah Flew (1859–1925), Wesleyan Methodist minister, and his wife, Florence Jones (1863–1964). The family's home was originally in Portland, Dorset...

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Hughes, Hugh Price (1847–1902), Wesleyan Methodist minister, was born on 8 February 1847 at 10 King Street, Carmarthen, to John Hughes (1817–1897), surgeon, and his wife, Anne, née Phillips (d. 1900). Educated at Carmarthen grammar school and Thistleboon boarding-school, Mumbles, near Swansea...

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Kilham, Alexander (1762–1798), a founder of the Methodist New Connexion, was born at Epworth, Lincolnshire, on 10 July 1762, the third son of Simon Kilham (d. 1801/2) and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1785). His father was a linen weaver who later extended his business to include the making of sacking. His parents were zealous Methodists, but the young ...

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Lidgett, John Scott (1854–1953), Methodist minister and local politician, was born on 10 August 1854 at Kelso Cottage, Lewisham, the son of John Jacob Lidgett (1828–1869), shipowner and businessman, and Maria Elizabeth (1824–1911), daughter of the Revd John Scott and his wife, Maria...

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Martin, Louis George (1936–2015), weightlifter and physical culturist, was born on 11 November 1936 in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of Ita Stanford (Frank) Martin, saddle maker and chef, and his wife, Valeeta. His parents met in Cuba and lived there for over a decade. They provided a middle-class home on ...

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Mather, Alexander (1733–1800), Wesleyan Methodist preacher, was born in February 1733 at Brechin in Forfarshire. His parents, of whom little is known, instructed him 'early in the principles of religion' and consequently he was 'an utter stranger to the vices common among men...