Bradford, Joseph
1748-1808; e.m. 1773

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An early itinerant who was John Wesley's travelling companion 1774-1780 and 1787-1790 and was entrusted with transcribing his Journal. In 1785 Wesley also entrusted him with a letter to be read to the Conference after his death, at which Bradford was present. Recognized as a moderating influence in the sacramental issue which faced the Conference of 1795, he was elected President that year and chaired the committee which produced the Plan of Pacification. He was the first to be appointed 'Governor' of Kingswood School under the new arrangements made in 1795, holding that office until 1802. He was elected President again in 1803. His closing years were marred by bodily and mental decay and he died on 28 May 1808.


'Prompt, - energetic; - Herculean in labour' - Persevering, - fervid, - sterling; - somewhat rambling in his discourses… A strenuous advocate for exemption from all moral defilement.'

Wesleyan Takings (1840), p.326

  • Wesley and his Successors (1895) pp. 35-36
  • Charles Angel Bradford, The Life of the Rev. Joseph Bradford [1932]
  • W.L. Doughty in the Methodist Recorder, 29 May 1958