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Aberhart, William (1878–1943), politician and evangelist in Canada, was born in Hibbert township, near Seaforth, Perth county, Ontario, on 30 December 1878, the son of William Aberhart (who as a child had been brought from Germany) and his wife, Louisa Pepper, the daughter of an Englishman. He was educated at schools in ...

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Anderson, George Wishart (1913–2002), biblical scholar and Methodist minister, was born on 25 January 1913 at 35 Elliot Street, Arbroath, the elder child of George Anderson (1879–1957), a cabinet-maker, and his wife, Margaret Gordon, née Wishart (1880–1964). His parents were both Scottish. He was educated at ...

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Francis Asbury (1745–1816) by John Paradise, 1813 © 2013. National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian / Art Resource / Scala, Florence

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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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Atmore, Charles (1759–1826), Methodist minister, was born at Heacham, Norfolk, on 17 August 1759, the son of a ship's captain at King's Lynn. His mother died when he was eighteen months and he was brought up by an uncle and aunt and educated at the village school. At the age of fourteen he accompanied his father on a voyage to ...

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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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Barrett, (Charles) Kingsley (1917–2011), Methodist minister and New Testament scholar, was born on 4 May 1917 at 59 Howard Street, Salford, the son of Fred Barrett (1880–1957), United Methodist minister, and his wife, Clara, née Seed (1879–1941), who had been a Methodist deaconess. He attended ...

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Bennet, John (1715–1759), Methodist preacher and Independent minister, was born on 1 March 1715 in Whitehough, near Chinley, Derbyshire, the younger son of William Bennet (c.1677–1766), farmer, and his wife, Ann (d. 1752). Raised as a presbyterian, he was educated at a school in ...

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Brackenbury, Robert Carr (1752–1818), Methodist preacher, was born at Panton House in Lincolnshire and baptized on 28 April 1752, the first child of Carr Brackenbury and Isabella, daughter of William Booth of Ashby Puerorum. He was educated at Felsted School and, from 20 May 1769, at ...

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Bradburn, Samuel (1751–1816), Methodist minister, was born in Gibraltar on 5 October 1751, the youngest son of the thirteen children of Isaac Bradburn (1719–1794), a gardener turned army private, and his wife, a Mrs Bold (1722–1775), the daughter of Samuel Jones, a Wrexham...

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Bradford, Robert John (1941–1981), Methodist minister and politician, was born in Roe Valley District Hospital, Limavady, co. Londonderry, on 8 June 1941, the seventh child of George Bradford, a labourer and later a milkman, and his wife, Lily, née Wright. His parents, who were wartime evacuees from ...

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Bramwell, William (1759–1818), Methodist preacher, was born in Elswick, Lancashire, in February 1759, the tenth of eleven children of George Bramwell, a farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth, devout Anglicans. After a village education William was apprenticed to a Liverpool merchant in 1775, then to a ...

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Cornelius Cayley (1727–1779) by Isaac Taylor, pubd 1778 (after J. J. Swanfelder, 1778) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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John Cennick (1718–1755) by Philip Dawe, pubd 1785 (after A. L. Brandt) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Chunchie, Kamal Athon (1886–1953), Methodist minister and race relations worker, was born on 4 June 1886 in Kandy, Ceylon, the eldest of nine children (five sons and four daughters) of Muslim parents of Malay origin. His father, Athon Chunchie (1849/50–1928), of the Inche Che...

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Thomas Coke (1747–1814) by Henry Edridge, 1799 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Cooke, Joseph (1775–1811), religious reformer and founder of the Methodist Unitarian Movement, was born near Dudley, Worcestershire, on 8 May 1775. His parents were poor, and his education was 'not what is generally esteemed a learned one' (Ashworth, 11). In 1799 he married ...