Churchey, Walter

Attorney and versifier, and one of the early supporters of English Wesleyan Methodism in Brecon. Born in Brecon on 7 November 1747, he was a friend of Thomas Coke from his schooldays, dealing with his legal affairs in later life. Coke's attempts in 1776 to persuade him to take holy orders proved fruitless. He began corresponding with John Wesley in 1771 and served as his informer on the affairs of the Brecon Circuit and its itinerants. He later claimed to have suggested to him the publication of the Arminian Magazine which began publication in 1778. Wesley's letter of 18 October 1777 confirms that they were exchanging views on the subject. A writer of indifferent religious verse, he had an inflated view of his own poetic gift and published several volumes despite the discouraging advice of both Wesley and William Cowper, on whom he wrote an Elegy in 1800. He settled at Little Ffordd Fawr, between Glasbury and Hay-on-Wye, returned to Brecon in 1797 and died there on 3 December 1805.

  • John Wesley, Letters, vols 5-8 passim
  • W.I. Morgan, in Bathafarn,26 (1971-2) pp.14-36
  • W.I. Morgan in Brycheiniog, 16 (1972) pp.79-102
  • Bathafarn, 26 (1971-72) pp.14-36
  • James H. Temple, in WHS Proceedings, 38 pp.152-53
  • Oxford DNB
  • Dictionary of Welsh Biography