Perronet, Damaris

The elder daughter of Vincent Perronet, she was born at Sundridge, Kent. She had her mother's introspective nature and experienced periods of deep depression; but. like her brothers, she was forthright and courageous. After her mother's death in 1763, Damaris effectively took over the outreach of Methodism in Shoreham, by leading a class, visiting the sick and providing what practical help she could, living for a time with a family at Faversham who were threatened by unemployment and attack because of their Methodism. From her prison-visiting in Maidstone gaol, long before Elizabeth Fry, she was greatly concerned for prisoners, urging John Wesley to 'press it on the Preachers' to visit every prison they could. She was impatient with Methodist 'talkers' and felt that 'greater than all they talked of' was 'doing good to the souls and bodies of all we can'. In 1776 Wesley remarked on the swift growth of Methodist in Shoreham and said that 'the chief instrument of this glorious work is Miss Perronet, a burning and a shining light'. When she died on 9 October 1782, following a stroke, Charles Wesley wrote, 'That blessed saint left a blessing behind her ... and on all who were so happy as to know her here.'

  • Margaret Batty, Vincent Perronet, 'the Archbishop of the Methodists' (Emsworth, 2002)

Entry written by: MB
Category: Person
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