Nightingale, Joseph

Critic of WM, born on 26 October 1775 at Chowbent, Atherton, Lancs. Influenced by the writings of Joseph Priestley and Tom Paine he became a Deist, but was then converted and joined the Methodists in 1796, but left them in 1804. After teaching in Macclesfield, he became a Unitarian minister (though without pastoral charge) in London in 1805. His many publications ranged widely between history, topography and natural history and included A Portraiture of the Roman Catholic Religion (1812) and The Religions and Religious Ceremonies of All Nations Faithfully and Impartially Described (1821). He contributed frequently to the Unitarian Monthly Repository. His highly critical Portraiture of Methodism (1807) did some damage to the movement, but at the end of his life he expressed regret for 'that foolish book' and in 1824 was reconciled with WM. He died in London on 9 August 1824 and was buried in Bunhill Fields.

  • WM Magazine, 1823 pp.750-1
  • George Smith, A History of Wesleyan Methodism (1858-61) 2 pp.283-84, 440-42
  • Oxford DNB

See also

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person
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