Dunnell, Mary

Female preacher, loosely associated with WM and the early PMs. One of the 'Christian Revivalists' of Macclesfield early in the century, she was present at the first camp meeting on Mow Cop and was on her way to take part in the camp meeting at Norton in August 1807 when the Circuit WM Superintendent dissuaded her by sending her to occupy the Tunstall pulpit, despite the 1803 Conference's ban on female preaching. On a later visit she was refused the same pulpit and so began her official association with the earliest PM leaders. A woman of independent spirit and given to over-frequent visions, Hugh Bourne recognised her gifts and the success of her preaching in the Derby area, but found her a somewhat unstable and independent character. Following a break with the Derbyshire Methodists (who had become known as 'Mrs. Dunnell's people') she disappeared from the records in 1812, under suspicion of marital irregularities.

  • JohnT. Wilkinson, Hugh Bourne 1772-1852 (1952) pp.56-7, 73-9
  • North Staffordshire Journal of Field Studies 9 (1969) pp.69-73
  • Methodist Recorder, 11 March 1999
  • Oxford DNB