Walker, Samuel

Evangelical clergyman, curate-in-charge at St Mary's, Truro from 1746. He was born at Exeter on 16 December 1714. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, he obtained his BA in 1736 and was ordained priest in 1738. He was converted under the preaching of George Conon, the Scottish headmaster of Truro Grammar School and became an influential local figure, described by John Wesley as the only 'regular' minister who was successful in converting any of his own parishioners. Although he confined his ministry to his own parish, he organized religious societies there and a 'Clerical Club' among his fellow evangelicals. He encountered some difficulty in dealing with the Methodist society in Truro and in 1755-56 did his best to dissuade Wesley from separating from the Church. He was taken ill in 1760 and died on 19 July 1761, at Lewisham where Lord Dartmouth had been his host during his closing days. After his death some of his Truro congregation formed an Independent church of their own and others joined the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion.

  • Edwin Sidney, The Life, Ministry [etc.] of the Rev. Samuel Walker (1835)
  • G.C.B. Davies, The Early Cornish Evangelicals, 1735-1760: a study of Samuel Walker of Truro and others (1951)
  • Tim Shenton, A Cornish Revival: the life and times of Samuel Walker of Truro (Darlington, 2003)
  • Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography
  • Oxford DNB