Pyer, John

Born at Bristol on 3 December 1790. He joined the Wesleyans on Christmas Day, 1803, became a WM local preacher at the age of 19 and was later a class leader and Secretary to the Preachers' Meeting. At various stages up to 1819 he served as a local preacher in Exeter, Truro, Oxford, London and Hungerford, as well as Bristol. In 1819 he married Mary Smith, niece of Christopher Smith, MP for St. Albans and Lord Mayor of London in 1819. They had four children.

In 1819 Pyer joined with George Pocock to launch Tent Methodism, becoming the second most important figure in the sect after his expulsion from WM early in 1820. He was the principal figure in attempting to widen its geographical spread, but his own activity became mainly confined to Ancoats, Manchester between 1822 and 1830. By that date he had become a Congregational minister, serving that denomination for over 30 years in several pastorates, notably at Devonport. He became a fervent advocate of teetotalism in its early days, at a time when both the Methodist and Congregational hierarchies were loath to show support. He died at Devonport on 7 April 1859.

  • Kate Pyer Russell, Memoirs of John Pyer (1865)
  • John K. Lander, Itinerant Temples: Tent Methodism 1814-1832 (Carlisle, 2003)