Simpson, David

Evangelical Anglican clergyman, born on 12 October 1745 at Ingleby Arncliffe, near Northallerton. He graduated in 1769 from St John's College, Cambridge, where he became acquainted with Rowland Hill. He was converted in 1767 under the preaching of the Unitarian Theophilus Lindsey and in 1772 was offered the curacy at Macclesfield in succession to Hester Ann Rogers' father, James Roe. When he had been twice suspended and eventually prevented from taking the living because of his Methodistical preaching, Mrs Rogers' uncle Charles Roe built Christ Church for him and installed him as incumbent in 1775. He is said to have started a Sunday School there as early as 1778 and sustained an itinerant ministry in the vicinity in addition to his parochial duties. Brian Bury Collins was one of his curates and John Wesley preached and helped to administer the Sacrament there on several occasions. An Arminian Methodist, he maintained contact with evangelicals of all parties. He fostered the local Methodist society and was present at the 1784 Conference. Among his many publications, some of them in defence of Methodism, A Plea for Religion and the Sacred Writings (1797) was frequently reprinted. He died at Macclesfield on 24 March 1799.

  • Charles Atmore, Methodist Memorial (1801), pp.388-97
  • Benjamin Smith, History of Methodism in Macclesfield (1875), passim
  • G. Malmgreen, Silk Town: Industry and Culture in Macclesfield 1750-1835 (1985) pp.147-9
  • Tim Shenton, Forgotten Heroes of Revival(2004) pp.90-165
  • Oxford DNB