Beecham, Dr John
1787-1856; e.m. 1815

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WM minister, born at Barnoldby le Beck, Lincs. He was educated by the incumbent of the neighbouring Irby. His association with Methodism cost him the friendship of some who coveted him for the Anglican priesthood. While in the Liverpool Circuit he wrote his Essay on the Constitution of Wesleyan Methodism (1829; 3rd edn, 1851), a classic statement of the 'high Wesleyan' view of the Pastoral Office and the idea that the 'living Wesley' is the collective pastorate of the Conference. He was a Secretary of the WMMS from 1831 to 1855 and as secretary for West Africa wrote a book on Ashantee and the Gold Coast (1841) which must have relied heavily on the reports of T. B. Freeman. He played a part in devising constitutions for affiliated Conferences, including Canada which he visited in 1855. AsPresident of the Conference in 1850, he supported the disciplinary action which lost thousands of members at that time. He died in London on 22 April 1856.


'Well rounded, stiff, a good, and rathr intelligent face. Clear, but not an easy speaker. A good understanding. A man of close application to business.'

Wesleyan Takings (1840), p.344

  • Wesley and his Successors (1895) pp. 173-74
  • W.R. Ward, Religion and Society in England 1790-1850 (1972) pp. 149-52