Breeden, Henry
1804-1878; e.m. 1831

WM lay revivalist and holiness preacher, who became a WMA (and later UMFC) minister. Born at Southwell, Notts, on 11 August 1804, he became a local preacher in 1822. He was a schoolmaster at Redditch, but came to prominence as the prayer leader and associate of John Smith ('Smith of Cudworth') and became the first Arminian Methodist itinerant in 1832. He was their General Superintendent until they joined the WMA in 1837. He was WMA President in 1848. A very successful evangelist, his Call to Holiness and Usefulness (Derby, 1834) went into many editions on both sides of the Atlantic. His semi-Pelagian belief in the human capacity for faith diverged from the general Wesleyan understanding of grace. He wrote an autobiographical Striking Incidents of Saving Grace (1878; reprinted, Burslem, 1981). He died at Leeds on 24 November 1878.


'He had a manful delivery and a prepossessing, influential personality… His doctrine was simple Sandemanianism… He held that "saving faith is simply an exercise of powers inherent in our nature" and required no special help of God.'

Benjamin Gregory, Biographical Recollections (1903) p.312

  • Wesley J. Culshaw, in Methodist Recorder,, 10 April 1975