Stevenson, George John

WM author and editor, born on 7 July 1818 in Chesterfield into a Methodist family. On leaving school he trained as a printer and worked in Sheffield, London and Great Yarmouth. In 1844 he trained as a teacher at St John's College, Battersea and became in succession head of a reformatory school (1846-48) and of an endowed parochial school (1848-55), before giving up teaching for bookselling and publishing, including educational journals. Though vacillating between Anglican and Methodist leanings, he showed by his published works which was his paramount interest. From 1861 to 1867 he owned and edited the Methodist Times and in 1882 edited the short-lived Union Review in association with the WM Literary and Mutual Improvement Associations. One of his long-term interests was the career of C.H. Spurgeon, on whom he published several books. Among his voluminous writings (in which he was assisted by his daughter May as researcher) were The WM Hymn-book and its Associations (1870), City Road Chapel (1872), Memorials of the Wesley Family (1876) (written after he had classified papers bequeathed by John Wesley to Henry Moore), The Methodist Hymn Book Illustrated (1883) and six volumes of Methodist Worthies (1884-86), containing sketches of ministers and laymen of all the main branches of Methodism, complete with excellent portraits. He died at South Hackney on 16 August 1888.

  • Methodist Recorder, August 1888
  • WHS Proceedings, 28 pp.33-4
  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: EWD
Category: Person
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