Thomson, George

Vicar of St Gennys, Cornwall for fifty years from 1732, born at Fremington, near Barnstaple and baptized there on 1 March 1698/9. He graduated from Exeter College, Oxford in 1719 and was ordained deacon in 1722 and priest in 1726. (He has been wrongly identified with the minister in Georgia mentioned in John Wesley's Journal on 23 April 1737.) He was converted through a dream which indicated his imminent death. He was one of the subscribers to Whitefield's orphanage in Georgia and met him in March 1739 at Bath. He welcomed Wesley and accompanied him on his tour of Cornwall in June 1745. Their relationship was strained by his Calvinism, expressed in his Original Sacred Hymns (1776), but in August 1782 Wesley visited him on his deathbed and gave him the Sacrament.


John Wesley's Journal:

Tuesday, September 3rd, 1782: 'I preached in the street at Camelford. Being informed here that my old friend Mr. Thompson, rector of St. Gennys, was near death, and had expressed a particular desire to see me, I judged no time was to be lost. So borrowing the best horse I could find, I set out, and rode as fast as I could… I found Mr. Thompson just alive, but quite sensible. It seemed to me as if none in the house but himself was very glad to see me. He had many doubts concerning his final state, and rather feared than desired to die, so that my whole business was to comfort him and to increase and confirm his confidence in God. He desired me to administer the Lord's Supper, which I willingly did; and I left him much happier than I found him, calmly waiting till his change should come.'

  • 'Preface containing some account of the author', in Original Sacred Hymns (1776)
  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number, 1894, pp.23-28
  • G.C.B. Davies, The Early Cornish Evangelicals, 1735-1760: a study of Samuel Walker of Truro and others (1951)
  • Tim Shenton, Forgotten Heroes of Revival (2004) pp.8-31