A former dissenting academy in Hoxton Square was rented in September 1834 to house the first WM ministerial training. Joseph Entwisle senr. was appointed its first Governor and, more controversially and in the face of opposition (notably from Samuel Warren), Jabez Bunting its President. John Hannah was its theological tutor and Samuel Jones the classical and mathematical tutor to the junior preachers in training. Despite initial opposition to ministerial training, it proved itself in the formation of students, who spent two years studying the liberal arts, Bible and theology and sermon preparation. Its earliest students included the missionaries to Fiji, John Hunt and James Calvert, also William Arthur and W. Burt Pope. In 1839, when the Hoxton accommodation became inadequate, Abney House, Stoke Newington was acquired as a 'Preparatory or Auxiliary Branch' with John Farrar as Governor. By 1840 it had 25 students, sleeping three to a room. Expanding numbers led to the replacement of both Hoxton and Abney Park by Didsbury and Richmond Colleges in 1842-43.
Entry written by: TSAM
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