Marblestone, Augustus William

Born in Sweden, the son of a Lutheran minister on the island of Gotland, he responded in 1775 to the ‘call of the sea’ and sailed under the captain of an English timber ship who duped him into entering into a four-year apprenticeship. Finding himself in Portsmouth, he took the opportunity to become a rigger in the dockyard and eventually saved enough to buy a small boat and set himself up as a fisherman and waterman in Portsmouth harbour.

Soon afterwards a fellow dockyard worker invited him to go and hear the Methodist preaching and in 1787 he was converted under William Ashman and began to preach himself, chiefly to the farm labourers in the outlying villages. At one such village, where the work was being given up because of fierce opposition, he volunteered to go and his calm determination to stand his ground in the face of hostility led to an invitation to return, so that regular preaching was resumed.

His wife was a native of Portchester and had inherited property there. So in 1803 they came to live in the village and he began to hold meetings in their home. Growing numbers encouraged them to move into a hired room and eventually he built them a chapel in Castle Street in1818. It remained his private property until transferred, free of debt, to the first Methodist trust in 1826.

Marblestone was long remembered as’eminently a cheerful, happy and contented man’, grateful for the many blessings and deliverances of his life. He died on 17 Aprill 1839.

  • The Swedish Emigrant (2nd edition, 1852)


Category: Person
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