Humphreys, Joseph
1720- post 1762

A Moravian, described by John Wesley many years later as 'the first lay preacher that assisted me in England in the year 1738'. The son of a dissenting minister at Burford, Glos., he was a student at Deptford academy from 1733 to 1739. Converted by George Whitefield, he was expelled after forming a society for converts at Deptford. He moved to another academy in Moorfields, London and in 1740 began preaching and acting as Wesley's assistant at the Foundery. Eventually he reverted to his hereditary Calvinism, joined Whitefield, was involved in the founding of Welsh Calvinistic Methodism and wrote critically of the Wesleys. Falling out with Whitefield, he obtained Presbyterian and then episcopalian ordination. In spite of his earlier evangelical enthusiasm, he eventually abandoned his belief in inward holiness and personal religion.

  • Journal of John Wesley, 9 Sept. 1790
  • Charles Atmore, Methodist Memorial (1801) pp.202-3
  • R.P. Heitzenrater, Wesley and the People Called Methodists (1995) pp.114-15, 122-3