Haworth Round

The 'Great Haworth Round' was the name given to the circuit established by William Grimshaw and his assistants in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. As elsewhere, this circuit, although regularly visited by both John and Charles Wesley, was founded by others prior to, and without the assistance of, the Methodist leaders. Societies were formed in Yorkshire by Benjamin Ingham as early as 1738, and by John Nelson in the following year. John Wilkinson, a journeyman shoemaker and pioneer local preacher, invited Nelson to preach in Keighley and formed the first society there in 1742. At the same time Thomas Colbeck, Jonathan Maskew, Paul Greenwood and others were active as preachers in Keighley and the Wharfe valley. William Darney's societies, mainly in Lancashire and Rossendale, were incorporated into this Round in 1747, as were other groups formed by John Bennet. Despite fierce opposition, such as the mob riots organized by the Rev. Wickham of Guiseley and the Rev. George White of Colne, such preachers as these (known aptly as 'Mr Grimshaw's men') extended the Circuit from Birstall and Otley in the south to Whitehaven, Workington and Cockermouth in the north, and from Bacup and Preston in the west to Pateley Bridge in the east. It was the Haworth Round that held the first Methodist Quarterly Meeting at Todmorden Edge on 18 Oct 1748. In 1763 (the year of Grimshaw's death) Keighley became the head of the Circuit.

  • J.W. Laycock, Methodist Heroes of the Great Haworth Round (Keighley, 1909)
  • J. Conder Nattrass, 'Early Methodism in Haworth', in WHS Proceedings 10 pp.141-46, 165-68, 200-205
  • Conference Handbook, 1961
  • Simon Ross Valentine, John Bennet and the Origins of Methodism and the Evangelical Revival in England (Lanham, 1997)