Johnson, John
1725-1803; e.m. 1755/1758

Methodist itinerant, born at Saltford, Som., of Roman Catholic parents. In spite of his father's hopes that he would enter the priesthood, he became a shoemaker and an Anglican. His first marriage was a disastrous failure. He was converted in London through the preaching of George Whitefield. John Wesley received him as an itinerant in 1755 and sent him to Ireland but for some reason he did not arrive there until 1758. He spent the remainder of his life there. Highly regarded by Wesley, he had an uneven career. At one time General Superintendent of the Irish work, he became for a period the centre of some dissent and was disloyal to Wesley. In 1768 he retired early due to ill health and settled in Lisburn, where he went into business, but continued as a local preacher. He was instrumental in building and then enlarging the first Methodist chapel in the town. His fourth wife, whom he married in 1784, was Mrs. Dorothea King of Dublin. He died on 31 December 1803.

Sources
  • R.H. Gallagher, Pioneer Preachers of Irish Methodism (Belfast, 1965), pp.40-42

Entry written by: RPR
Category: Person
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