Bagshaw, Matthew

A Nottingham hosier, who was a leading member of the first Methodist society in Nottingham and a class leader over many years. Described as 'a small man with a large bushy wig who normally wore a three-cornered hat which gave him an antique appearance', he was host to the visiting preachers, including John Wesley and John Nelson, and converted his home in Crossland Yard to accommodate the Methodist congregations, with women on the ground floor and men above. Arrested on the orders of the mayor under the Conventicle Act for providing an illegal place of worship, he was accompanied to prison by Methodist supporters singing and praying until he was released. He was specifically named as one of those who registered the new chapel at Hockley in 1784 and was among those who remained loyal to the Wesleyan cause during the Kilhamite disruption. He died on 18 April 1804, aged 82.


'He was one of the first supporters of Methodism in this town, and has been a member of that society about 63 years; during which period his deportrment as a Christian has been so far exemplary as to gain the esteem of all with whom he was acquainted.'

Obituary in the Nottingham Journal, 21 April 1804

  • Rowland C. Swift, Lively People: Methodism in Nottingham 1740-1979 (1982)