Venn, Henry

Evangelical clergyman, the son of the Rev. Richard Venn (1691-1740), rector of St. Antholin's, London from 1725. (John Wesley preached at St. Antholin's several times in 1738 before being told that Methodist preachers were no longer welcome there.) Henry was influenced by reading The Whole Duty of Man and William Law's Serious Call, and after curacies in London and Clapham, was vicar of the extensive parish of Huddersfield 1759-1771, where his preaching drew large crowds. He visited many outlying settlements and preached in private houses. A discussion with John Wesley in 1761 about Methodist preaching in the parish led to a compromise whereby the itinerants visited only once a month. A moderate Calvinist and a sabbatarian, from 1771 he was vicar of Yelling, Hunts. His son John Venn (1759-1813), rector of Clapham 1792-1813, was a member of the 'Clapham Sect' and a founder of the CMS (of which hisson Henry Venn (1796-1873) was secretary from 1841).

  • H. Venn (ed.), Life and a Selection from the Letters of the late Rev. Henry Venn (1834)
  • J.C. Ryle, The Christian Leaders of the Last Century (1869)
  • A.W. Harrison, The Evangelical Revival and Christian Reunion (1942) pp.112-14
  • Michael Hennell, Sons of the Prophets: Evangelical Leaders of the Victorian Church (1979), pp.68-90
  • A. Brown-Lawson, John Wesley and the Anglican Evangelicals of the Eighteenth Century (Bishop Auckland, 1994)
  • Oxford DNB


Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person
Comment on this entry