Bastard, Abraham

BC local preacher, of Treligga, St Teath, in north Cornwall. In his youth he was fond of hunting, boxing, wrestling, poaching and swearing. He was the acknowledged champion pugilist of the district and a man of great strength. He was converted in January 1818, very early in the preaching mission of the female BC itinerant Betsy Reed that established the Michaelstow BC Circuit. William O'Bryan, when he arrived next month, enlisted Bastard to give his testimony at his meetings.

Bastard soon established his worth in 'policing' open air meetings and, often by his sheer presence, in dispersing the rowdies. His home became a preaching place in Treligga and a place of hospitality for the preachers. He and another built the first chapel in the village and although, like many, they over-extended themselves the Connexion bailed them out. He became a class leader, Sunday School teacher and a local preacherwho used Adam Clarke's Commentary. He regularly preached in the open air, and soon after his conversion made a point of preaching in all the places where he had wrestled. Soon after his conversion, and later when the teetotal movement began to gather strength, he experienced many temptations, but overcame them through making the Thessalonian injunction, 'Pray without ceasing' his own discipline.

  • S.L. Thorne, The Converted Wrestler (1877); 3rd edition, The Cornish Wrestler (Launceston, 1888)
  • T> Shaw, Methodism in the Camelford and Wadebridge Circuit 1743-1963(1963)

Entry written by: CCS and TS
Category: Person
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