Annesley, Samuel

Puritan divine and the Wesleys' maternal grandfather, he was born at Haseley, near Warwick and baptized there on 20 March 1620. He graduated from Queen's College, Oxford in 1639 and obtained his DCL in 1648. Ordained in 1644, he served as chaplain in the parliamentary Navy. He was appointed rector of Cliffe (Kent) in 1645, but his opposition to Charles I's execution forced him to leave there for London in 1652. In 1658 Richard Cromwell gave him the living of St Giles, Cripplegate. Ejected in 1662, he became the acknowledged leader of Dissent in the City. He was twice married and had a large family, though probably not as many as he is usually credited with. (His remark that it was either 24 or 25 may well have been a joke.) There is firm evidence for only nine, of whom Susanna Wesley was the eighth, not the youngest. He continued to minister (at the cost of several fines) to a Presbyterian congregation in Spitalfields and several collections of his sermons were published. He died in London on 31 December 1696.

  • Luke Tyerman, The Life and Times of the Rev. Samuel Wesley (1866)
  • George J. Stevenson, Memorials of the Wesley Family (1876)
  • John A. Newton, in WHS Proceedings, 45 pp.29-45
  • Betty I. Young in WHS Proceedings, 45 pp.46-57
  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: WDH
Category: Person
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