Wesley, Susanna

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Susanna Wesley, the 'Mother of Methodism'. was born in Spital Yard, London, the daughter of Samuel Annesley, a nonconformist minister ejected from his living of St. Giles, Cripplegate in 1662. She left the dissenters in 1682 , influenced by latitudinarian clerics in the Church of England such as John Tillotson and Edward Stillingfleet. She met and married in 1689 Samuel Wesley, formerly at the Stoke Newington dissenting academy, then at Exeter College Oxford from which he entered into Anglican orders, serving in South Ormsby and Epworth, Lincolnshire as Rector. There she raised 19 children, including John born 1703 and Charles born 1708. Receiving home education from her, she continued guiding them through her correspondence while they were studying at Oxford. This concern for their education and training and her spirituality expressed through regular daily prayers with the household had a lasting influence on the Wesley family and the Methodist movement. Many of her writings perished in the fire at Epworth Rectory in 1709, but others have survived as a source for understanding her debt to Puritan and other writings. After her husbandl's death in 1735, she settled with family members in Salisbury and London. She died in 1742 at The Foundery in City Road and was buried in the nonconformist cemetery at Bunhill Fields.

  • Newton, John, Susanna Wesley and the Puritan Tradition in Methodism (1968)
  • Macquiban, T S A, in Mervyn Davies (ed.) A Thankful Heart and a Discerning Mind (2010), pp.27-39
  • Wallace, Charles ed. Susanna Wesley: the complete writings 1997)
  • Lenton, John; Norris, Clive Murray; and Ryan, Linda (eds), "Women, Preachers, Methodists" (Oxford, 2020).


Entry written by: TSAM
Category: Person
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