Ward, John

Durham solicitor, born in Durham, the son of John Ward (d. 1838) of Weardale and educated at Durham Grammar School. His proficiency in languages and remarkable memory made him a very effective public speaker. He had a successful career as a solicitor in partnership with John Bramwell and later with Abraham Story, specializing in property law. By 1847 he was Master Extraordinary in Chancery and Deputy Protonotary in the Court of Pleas at the Durham Exchequer. Becoming a Wesleyan early in his life, he served as a class leader and a legal adviser to theitinerants. James Everett held him in high regard. But disagreeing in the 1820s over doctrinal and disciplinary matters, he joined the MNC. A lifelong Whig and Liberal, he is said to have devoted one third of his income to charitable ends. His wife, the Hon. Frances Leveson Gower, died in 1849.


'Mr. Ward some time ago resigned his office as Leader because the last Conference made the doctrine of the Sonship a test in admitting candidates into the Ministry amongst us; and lately he has left the Society, apparently with the impression that honour and wisdom went along with him, on account of a very satirical poem which had been written against him by an anonymous author. They tell me that previous to his marriage he had been a remarkanbly pious and excellent man but that he has been deteriorating ever since, and he is now one of the most imperious and impatient of contradiction of any that I know. For what reasons, I cannot tell, but he has a very strong antipathy to the Conference and to a number of our preachers.'

Donald Frazer, itinerant, to Jabez Bunting, 14 March 1828, in W.R. Ward (ed.). The Early Correspondence of Jabez Bunting(1972), pp. 174-75

  • James Everett, The Polemic Divine ... or memoirs of the Rev. Daniel Isaac (1839), pp.73-4, 97-100
  • Geoffrey E. Milburn, 'Piety, Profit and Paternalism', in WHS Proceedings, 44 (1983-84)


Category: Person
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