Farley, Felix
1718- 1753

Bristol printer, was one of three sons of Samuel Farley, an Exeter printer who moved to Bristol in 1713 and died in 1730. His brother Samuel Farley junior, also a printer, became a Quaker. Felix was first in business in Bath, but by 1742 had moved to Bristol to join his brother in publishing Farley's Bristol Journal, begun under a different title by their father. Felix inherited his father's Toryism and met with antagonism from the city fathers.

He was drawn to Methodism as early as 1739, when he refused to print Josiah Tucker's attacks on Wesley. He became one of Wesley's Bristol printers, including the three volumes of the Collection of Moral and Sacred Poems (1744), the Plain Account of the People Called Methodists (1749), the two volumes of Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749) and The Doctrine of Original Sin (1757); also Charles Wesley's Short Hymns on Select Passages of Scripture (1762). His most substantial Methodist undertaking was Wesley's 'Christian Library', completed after his death by his widow Elizabeth in 1755.

  • H.R. Plomer et al., A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers … in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1726-1775 (1932)
  • Jonathan Barry, 'Methodism and the Press in Bristol, 1737-1775', in Bulletin of the WHS, Bristol Branch, 64 (October 1993) pp.1-23
  • Oxford DNB