Cownley, Joseph
1723-1792; e.m. 1746

Born on 26 June 1723 at Leominster, he became a lawyer's clerk and was converted through the preaching of John Wesley. Called into the itinerant ministry, he became one of Wesley's longest-serving and most trusted preachers, serving circuits in England and Ireland. He was also a close friend of George Whitefield. Illness led to his semi-retirement for twenty years. He was appointed to Edinburgh in 1788 but after one year his failing health forced him to retire in Newcastle. Here he became involved in controversy over moves to administer the Lord's Supper to those of the society who desired it. He died on 8 October 1792. He was known as a diligent pastor and a very accomplished preacher. His biographer recounts Wesley saying of him that he was 'one of the best preachers in England'.

  • Charles Atmore, Methodist Memorial (1801), pp.90-94
  • Lives of the Early Methodist Preachers 2 pp.1-47
  • John Lenton, John Wesley's Preachers (2009), p.65

Entry written by: HMG
Category: Person
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