Perronet, Charles

The third son of Vincent Perronet, he was born at Sundridge, Kent. Frail in body but independent-minded and courageous, he defended Charles Wesley from the Shoreham mob on his first preaching visit to the village; and on Charles Wesley's visit to Ireland in 1747 he again 'interposed his back' to protect the preacher from rioters. He remained in charge of the work there when Charles Wesley left. But by 1750 it was becoming clear that the rigours of itinerancy were too much for him and that, like his brother, he was reluctant to accept John Wesley's stationing; also that he shared his brother's view that the Methodist preachers' calling included administering the Sacrament. He retired from preaching on health grounds and settled in Canterbury, though remaining a Methodist in wary friendship with the Wesleys, since the sacramental question was always in the background. In 1772 he began writing an account of Methodism in Shoreham, which he said had been an object of derision there for over thirty years. His friendship with the Wesleys gradually warmed and when he died, unmarried, in 1776, they mourned the death of this 'great and good man'.

  • WM Magazine, 1902 pp.603-8, 662-4
  • Margaret Batty, Vincent Perronet, the Archbishop of the Methodists (Emsworth, 2002)

Entry written by: MB
Category: Person
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