Wesleyan Takings

Sub-titled 'Centenary Sketches of Ministerial Character, as exhibited in the Wesleyan Connexion during the first hundred Years of its Existence', this was published during the WM Conference at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1840 and gave offence because of its highly critical nature. It consisted of a series of satirical biographical sketches, notably of Jabez Bunting (placed first in the book but, unlike the rest, not named explicitly), who was depicted as intolerably autocratic, 'a monster of greatness'. A Preface added to the 3rd edition was condemned by the Conference of 1841 as 'unworthy of any person maintaining the Christian or ministerial character'. A second volume appeared in 1851, when the Conference was again in Newcastle. It contained a further attack on Bunting, reprinted from the Wesleyan Times. Both volumes were published anonymously, but the main suspicion fell on James Everett, who, with his fellow-suspect James Dixon, refused to incriminate himself before Conference.