WM missioner, born in Workington. Known from his early years for his ready wit and as a practical joker, he was apprenticed to a grocer. After visiting a religiously inclined uncle, he began to attend Methodist meetings and was deeply moved by the preaching of Benjamin Gregory (d.1849). He was converted c.1809-10, began to visit from house to house and became a local preacher in 1810. While returning from preaching at Maryport he suffered a vicious attack by a group of men and was injured in the head. He entered the ministry in 1815, his first station being the Ayr and Kilmarnock circuit. The rest of his ministry was spent in northern circuits, where he became celebrated for his eccentricity (he once slid backwards down the pulpit rail to illustrate 'backsliding') and his success as a revivalist. His three years in Gateshead, 1827-1830 were the peak of his effective ministry, seeing membership of his church rise from 910 to 1,380 He retired in 1838 because of the epileptic fits from which he suffered and lived as a Supernumerary at Birstall. He died on 23 November 1851.
Entry written by: WL
Comment on this entry