Delamotte family

Thomas Delamotte was a London sugar merchant and magistrate, of Huguenot descent. His eldest son Charles Delamotte (c. 1714-1786), much to his father's disapproval, accompanied John Wesley to Georgia in 1735, desiring to 'give himself up entirely to God'. He was Wesley's closest companion and confidant, though not afraid to question his attitude in the Sophy Hopkey affair. He devoted himself to teaching the young and his musical ability helped Wesley to introduce German hymns into worship. On Wesley's departure he kept the mission going in the face of hardship and ridicule. Back home in 1738 he found that the family home, Blendon Hall, Bexley, Kent, had become a haven for the Methodist preachers. He joined the Fetter Lane society and later the Moravians. On the premature death of his brother he joined the family business, settled in Barton on Humber and supported Benjamin Ingham's work in Yorkshire. He and John Wesley met again in 1782.

His younger brother William Delamotte (1718-1743) was a sizar at St Catherine's College, Cambridge. He was a member of a small group of Cambridge Methodists which existed briefly in the 1730s. Increasingly drawn to the Moravians, his preaching won many converts. He maintained an intimate friendship with Charles Wesley. Ill-health compelled him to leave Cambridge in 1740 without a degree. He joined the Moravians in Yorkshire, settling briefly at Smith House, Lightcliffe.

The estrangement between the Wesleys and the family at Blendon Hall in the summer of 1740 is described in detail in Charles Wesley's Journal.


Charles Wesley's MS Journal:

11 June 1740: 'Was constrained to bear my testimony for the last time at Blendon. Maxfield accompanied me. I desired to speak with Mrs. Delamotte alone. She did not well know how to refuse, and walked with me into the hall. I began, "Three years ago God sent me to call you from the form to the power of godliness. I told you what true religion was, a new birth, a participation of the divine nature. The way to this I did not know myself till a year after. Then I showed it to you, preaching Jesus Christ, and faith in his blood. You know how you treated me. God soon after called you to a living faith by my ministry. Then you received me as an angel of God. Where is now the blessedness you spake of? Whence is this change? This jealousy, and fear, and coldness? Why are you thus impatient to hear me speak?" … She would not bear any more, but hurried into the parlour… 'Upon their again and again bidding me silence, I asked, "Do you therefore at this time, in the presence of Jesus Christ, acquit, release and discharge me from any farther care, concern, or regard for your souls? Do you desire I would never more speak unto you in His name?" Betty frankly answered, "Yes." Mrs. Delamotte assented by her silence. "Then here," said I, "I take my leave of you, till we meet at the judgment-seat." With these words I rendered up my charge to God.'

  • G. Lester, in WHS Proceedings, 2, pp.88-90
  • J. Cartwright Adlard, in WHS Proceedings, 19 pp.97-98
  • John Wesley, Journal(Standard Edition), vols.1 & 2
  • Charles Wesley, Manuscript Journal, ed. Kimbrough and Newport, (2008), vol. 1
  • J. Nayler, Charles Delamotte (1938)
  • John D. Walsh, 'The Cambridge Methodists' in Christian Spirituality ed. Peter Brooks (1975) pp.249-83