Brunskill, Stephen

WM preacher and evangelist, born at Orton, near Tebay, on 5 November 1748, in an area first missioned by Benjamin Ingham. His employment as a slater led him further afield and he came into contact with Methodism at Thirsk. He began preaching at the end of 1774 and at the age of 34 made a solemn covenant with God. His preaching involved him in lengthy journeys on foot through wild territory, often in bad weather, earning him the title of 'Apostle of the Fells'. In 1787 he was a key figure in the introduction of Methodism into Kendal, where he settled for a time. Eventually a legacy enabled him to buy a farm at Orton, where he financed the building of the first chapel in 1833. He died there on 2 July 1836 and his autobiography was published the following year. Among his other writings were A Defence of Methodism (Blackburn, 1798), Thoughts on the Divinity and Sonship of Jesus Christ (Liverpool, [1819]) and Dialogues between a minister and one of his parishioners and others (Kendal, 1820).

  • The Life of Stephen Brunskill of Orton, sixty years a Wesleyan Methodist local preacher, written by himself (London, 1837)
  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number, 1900, pp.93-96