John wesley by george romney
John wesley by george romney
John Wesley MA
(1703-1791)

Died aged c. 88

John Wesley (/ˈdʒɒn ˈwɛsli/ or /ˈdʒɒn ˈwɛzli/; 28 June [O.S. 17 June] 1703 – 2 March 1791) was an Anglican cleric and theologian who, with his brother Charles and fellow cleric George Whitefield, founded Methodism. Educated at Charterhouse School and Oxford University, Wesley was elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford in 1726 and ordained a priest two years later. Returning to Oxford in 1729 after serving as curate at his father's parish, he led the Holy Club, a society formed for the purpose of study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life; it had been founded by his brother Charles, and counted George Whitefield among its members. After an unsuccessful ministry of two years at Savannah in the Georgia Colony, Wesley returned to London and joined a religious society led by Moravian Christians. On 24 May 1738 he experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed". He subsequently departed from the Moravians, beginning his own ministry. A key step in the development of Wesley's ministry was, like Whitefield, to travel and preach outdoors. In contrast to Whitefield's Calvinism, Wesley embraced the Arminian doctrines that dominated the Church of England at the time. Moving across Great Britain and Ireland, he helped form and organise small Christian groups that developed intensive and personal accountability, discipleship and religious instruction. Most importantly, he appointed itinerant, unordained evangelists to travel and preach as he did and to care for these groups of people. Under Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social issues of the day, including prison reform and the abolition of slavery. Although he was not a systematic theologian, Wesley argued for the notion of Christian perfection and against Calvinism—and, in particular, against its doctrine of predestination. He held that, in this life, Christians could achieve a state where the love of God "reigned supreme in their hearts", giving them outward holiness. His evangelicalism, firmly grounded in sacramental theology, maintained that means of grace were the manner by which God sanctifies and transforms the believer, encouraging people to experience Jesus Christ personally. Throughout his life, Wesley remained within the established Anglican church, insisting that the Methodist movement lay well within its tradition. In his early ministry, Wesley was barred from preaching in many parish churches and the Methodists were persecuted; he later became widely respected and, by the end of his life, had been described as "the best loved man in England". In 2002, he was placed at number 50 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

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Commemorated on 54 plaques

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John Wesley preached here in 1770
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Photo of John Wesley green plaque
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John Wesley (1703-1791) lived here

47 City Road, Islington, EC1, London, United Kingdom where he lived

On this site The Revd. John Wesley (1703 - 1791) opened the second Methodist Preaching House in Manchester, 30th March 1781.

Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester, United Kingdom where he opened the second Methodist Preaching House

Y Parchedig/ The Reverend John Wesley M.A. 1703-1791 Sylfaenydd Methodistiaeth Pregethai ger y safle hwn ar sawl achlysur Founder of Methodism Preached near this site on numerous occasions

The Verandah Restaurant, Bridge Street, Llanelli, United Kingdom where he preached near

The site of the Hockley Methodist Chapel opened 4th April 1783 by the Reverand John Wesley and the Reverand Dr Thomas Coke

42 Goose Gate, Nottingham, United Kingdom where he opened and preached

C. 15th century Faversham's principal inn, and main centre of its coaching trade. Preacher John Wesley stayed here in 1743.

Market Place, Faversham, United Kingdom where he stayed

This was the home and apothecary of Dr John Ritchie died 1780 - aged 77 years. The Rev John Wesley MA stayed here during his frequent visits to Otley

Boroughgate, Otley, United Kingdom where he stayed

St. Ann's Square, originally called Acres Field on which every St. Michael's Day, a Fair was held from the days of Henry III in 1227. In 1709 Lady Ann Bland laid the foundation stone of this Church. In 1712 the Church was consecrated by the Right Rev Sir William Dawes, Bishop of Chester. In 1738 John Wesley preached here. In 1745 Charles Edward Stuart, the Pretender, rode into the Square. Here worshipped John Byrom, the author of Christians Awake.

St. Ann's Square, Manchester, United Kingdom where he preached

Digory Isbell's Cottage where John Wesley preached and rested

Wesley Way, Trewint, United Kingdom where he preached and rested

First Methodist chapel in Neath opened May 1813 Visited sometime by John Wesley

Moose Hall, Castle Street, Neath, United Kingdom where he visited

Revd John Wesley MA founder of Methodism and eight Salisbury citizens erected the first preaching house on this site in 1759

Methodist Church, St Edmund's Church Street, Salisbury, United Kingdom where he erected the first preaching house

The first Methodist Chapel in Dorking was at the rear of this building. Opened by John Wesley on 22 November 1772

44 West Street, Dorking, United Kingdom where he opened

John Wesley 1703-1791 Father of Methodism Preached regularly at Wednesbury from 1743-1790

High Bullen, Wednesbury, United Kingdom where he preached

John Wesley preached in the Long Room of this building 1787

United Club, Church Street, St. Helier, Jersey where he preached

On 14th July 1783 and on several subsequent occasions John Wesley preached in this building the first Methodist meeting house in Oxford

New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, United Kingdom where he preached

John Wesley erected on this site in 1743 "The Orphan House" headquarters of Methodism in the North

49-51 Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom where he erected on this site "The Orphan House" headquarters of Methodism in the North (1742)

John Wesley, 1703-1791 Founder of Methodism On the "trust lot" south of President Street and immediately west of this square stood in 1736-'37 the parsonage in which John Wesley resided. In the adjoining garden he read, prayed and meditated. Weekly meetings of members of his Christ Church congregation were held in the small wooden dwelling. According to Wesley, "The first rise of Methodism was in 1729, when four of us met together at Oxford. The second was at Savannah in 1736 when twenty or thirty persons met at my house." The monument here was dedicated in 1969. Wesley is depicted at the period of his Georgia ministry, wearing his Church of England vestments. The sculptor, Marshall Daugherty, says of this rendering: "The moment is as he looks up from his Bible toward his congregation, about the speak and stretching out his right hand in love, invitation and exhortation. In contrast, the hand holding the Bible is intense and powerful - the point of contact with the Almighty..."

?, Savannah, GA, United States where he lived (1735-1736)

The probable site, where, on May 24, 1738 John Wesley "felt his heart strangely warmed". This experience of grace was the beginning of Methodism.

Aldersgate Street, EC1, London, United Kingdom where he was

The upper storey of this building was the meeting place of York Methodists from 1753 to 1759. John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield preached here on several occasions during that time. The actual room which the Methodists occupied was destroyed by fire and replaced by the present room about the year 1880.

Newgate, York, United Kingdom where he preached

John Wesley preached in the Small House Chapel near this site on 1st April 1762

Road between Neston & Parkgate, Neston, United Kingdom where he preached (1761)

This building, erected in 1759, was the first and, for 46 years, the only Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in York. John Wesley conducted the opening services on Sunday July 15th 1750 and preached here on many subsequent occasions. Its use as a Wesleyan Chapel was discontinued in the year 1805.

60-62 Aldwark, York, United Kingdom where he conducted the opening services (1750) and preached

On 22nd July 1786 John Wesley Anglican Minister and Founder of Methodism preached from this window on the text Mark 3v35

9, Browgate, Baildon, United Kingdom where he preached from this window on the text Mark 3v35 (1785)

John Wesley July 15th 1779 "I preached in Paradise Square in Sheffield to the largest congregation I ever saw on a weekday ".

18 Paradise Square, Sheffield, United Kingdom where he preached (1778)

The first Methodist preaching house in Lisburn Built in 1772 On the last of his many visits to the town John Wesley preached here on 6th June 1789

Market Street, Lisburn, United Kingdom where he preached (1788)

"All things are ready: come unto the marriage". At Barnaby's Farm, near this spot, the Reverend John Wesley preached on Friday, 16th April, 1784.

?, Wingates, United Kingdom where he preached (1783)

The Rev. John Wesley, A.M. Founder of Methodism, preached in this house on his first visit to Shrewsbury. March 16th 1761.

?, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom where he preached (1760)

John Wesley (1703-1791) Founder of Methodism. Visited Whitehaven on 25 occasions between 1749 and 1788 preaching in numerous outdoor and indoor venues including the Market Place, the Ginns and later, the town's first Methodist Chapel in Michael Street. From Whitehaven harbour, he made several visits to his followers in Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Market Hall, Market Place, Whitehaven, United Kingdom where he visited

From May 1747 onwards John Wesley on several occasions visited this locality staying at the old Booth Bank Farm, Agden and preaching under the oak tree still in front of the house The above plaque was affixed to the Booth Bank Methodist Chapel which stood on this site from 1834 The building was demolished in 1972

Under motorway bridge, Reddy Lane, Millington, United Kingdom where he on several occasions visited this locality (1746)

John Wesley (1703-1791) On February 6, 1736, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, landed at Peeper (now Cockspur) Island near here and there preached to his fellow voyagers his first sermon on American soil. A monument has been erected on Cockspur Island to commemorate the event. Sent to Georgia by the Trustees as missionary, Wesley was the third minister of the Established Church in the colony. He preached in the scattered settlements of Georgia, journeying thither by boat and over Indian trails. Wesley returned to England in 1737 after differences with his parishioners. "I shook off the dust of my feet and left Georgia," he wrote, "having preached the Gospel there (not as I ought, but as I was able) one year and nearly nine months."

Fort Pulaski national monument, Savannah, GA, United States where he landed at Peeper (now Cockspur) Island near here (1735)

Wesley's Tree John Wesley visited Stony Stratford five times and it is reputed that at least once he stood beneath this tree and preached. This plaque was unveiled by Mr. J. A. Stead, vice-president of the Methodist Conference Saturday, 3rd June 1950.

Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom where he reputedly at least once stood beneath this tree and preached

On this site John & Charles Wesley first preached in Cork and here stood the 2nd Methodist Chapel built in Ireland (1752) John Wesley made his last visit here 1789

Mercy Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, Ireland where he visited (1789) and preached

Methodist Church John Wesley, who travelled throughout 18th century England, preached in the nearby fishing village of "Fluckburgh" in 1759, but it was not until 1867 that his followers began to meet regularly in Grange at a stone barn by the shore. Later they met morning and evening at Berners Close until this present Church opened in 1874 on land donated by Alexander Brogden of Holme Island. His wife laid the foundation stone. The Reverend Bamford Judge, first incumbent, was given permission by Furness Railway Company to walk over the railway viaduct, a facility that saved him considerable time on the Arnside and Kendal Ministers Circuit.

Kents Bank Road, Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom where he preached near (1758)

John Wesley preached here in 1770

?, Upton-upon-Severn, United Kingdom where he preached (1769)

Revd John Wesley MA first preached in Kendal on Monday 9th April 1753 in a large convenient room where Mr Ingham's society used to meet. A Methodist society was later formed and met in the Old Play House in the Market Place. Later the society moved to The Fold in Stricklandgate and then into a new chapel on this site in 1808. The present chapel opened on Thursday 29th March 1883.

Stricklandgate, Kendal, United Kingdom where he preached (1752)

Part of this building is Mawnan's 'Old Meeting House' and where John Wesley is said to have stayed c.1750.

Wesley Cottage, Carwinion Road, Mawnan Smith, United Kingdom where he stayed (1749)

Forty yards south of this building on the last side of the site of The Foundery, John Wesley's headquarters 1750-78 and the first Methodist book room. The mother of the Wesleys died there 30th July 1742.

Tabernacle Street, London, United Kingdom where he was headquartered (1749-1777)

West Street Chapel 1700 leased by Methodists 1743-1798. WMHS John and Charles Wesley preached here frequently

24 West Street, WC2, London, United Kingdom where he preached

This building stands on the sites of the old Golden Lion Inn and Frank Clarkson's shop. John Wesley preached at the Inn in 1745.

209 High Street, Northallerton, United Kingdom where he preached (1744)

John Wesley the founder of Methodism preached on this site 15th April 1790.

Lowthian Street, Preston, United Kingdom where he preached (1789)

Revd. John Wesley MA lodged here on the night of October 3rd 1749 when journeying on horse back from Whitehaven to Leeds. This was his first visit to Westmorland.

Main Street, Old Hutton, United Kingdom where he lodged (1748)

METHODIST CHURCH. In 1753, John Wesley, who crossed the sands to preach in Ulverston, wrote: "Few people came to hear my sermon so I went quietly back to my room". By the end of 18th century a small Methodist Society developed, meeting at a cottage owned by Nancy Moister. As it grew, the society purchased a large room in Neville Street and eventually built a chapel. From such humble beginnings arose this church, opened in 1901, then carefully refurbished in 1992.

Neville Street, Ulverston, United Kingdom where he was (1752)

This building was formerly known as the Meeting House; visiting speakers included John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who preached here before the Methodists had their own chapel in Barnard Castle. The building has also been used as a Roman Catholic school and, later, as a wine store.

Queen Street, Barnard Castle, United Kingdom where he preached

This building, originally known as Broadgates Chapel, was the first Methodist chapel to be built in Barnard Castle. Much of the labour in erecting it was undertaken by men and women of the congregation. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, preached at the opening service on Saturday, 13th April 1765. The house in the adjoining garden was built later as the minister's residence.

Old School Close, Barnard Castle, United Kingdom where he preached (2013)

Near this spot John Wesley preached several times between 1745 and 1752 and established the first Wesleyan chapel in Staffordshire on this site.

167 Park Lane, Tipton, United Kingdom where he preached near (1744-1751)

Tenby House built in 1821 by Sir William Paxton on the site of the Globe Inn. John Wesley preached from the Old Market Cross nearby in 1763 and 1784

Tenby House Hotel, Tudor Square, Tenby, United Kingdom where he preached near (1762), preached near (1783), and preached near (1783)

Near this spot on August 15th 1790 Rev. John Wesley M.A. then in his eighty-eighth year and on the last of his fourteen visits to the town preached to the people of Haverfordwest. His text was, "The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the Gospel". Mark,1.15.

Haverfordwest Library, Dew Street, Haverfordwest, United Kingdom where he preached near (1789)

"Epworth Villa" 14 Gloucester Street Reverend John Wesley, AM preached here on 6 September 1776 thereby making it the first Methodist meeting house in Weymouth (Melcombe Regis)

14 Gloucester St, DT4 7AP, Weymouth, United Kingdom where he preached (1775)

John Wesley preached 14 times in a chapel on this site 1759-1790.

10 Church Stairs Street, Scarborough, United Kingdom where he preached (1758-1789)

John Wesley preached from these steps on his first visit to Knutsford on Monday 20th March 1738. "At Knutsford all we spake to thankfully received the word of exhortation" (Wesley's journal)

Princess Street, Knutsford, United Kingdom where he preached

This tablet is erected to the glory of God in commemoration of the Evangelical Conversion of the Rev. John Wesley, M.A., on May 24, 1738. (This site of the meeting room of the Religious Society was probably 28 Aldersgate Street). And of the Rev. Charles Wesley, M.A., on May 21, 1738. The site of the house is near St Batholomew's Hospital. (No12 Little Britain). Erected by the International Methodist Historical Union. May 24 1926.

Aldersgate Street, London, United Kingdom where he was

John Wesley 1703 - 1791 Founder of Methodism. Stayed here and preached nearby.

Braye Street, Alderney, United Kingdom where he stayed

Wesley Place Methodist Chapel built in 1782 near the spot where John Wesley preached in 1774 and 1780 enlarged 1848 closed for worship 1975

Stapleford House, Wesley Place, Stapleford, United Kingdom where he preached near (1774) and preached near (1780)

Whitkirk Manor House. The courts of the Manors of Whitkirk and Temple Newsam met here. John Wesley reputedly preached in the Garden. Houses in the Manor of Whitkirk were distinguished by a Templar Cross.

Colton Road. LS15 9AA, Leeds, United Kingdom where he preached

John Wesley preached his last open air sermon here, on 7th October 1790. Wesley's Chapel is 1st left, then left again.

Monks' Walk, Winchelsea, United Kingdom where he preached (1790)

John Wesley 1703-1791

Wesley's Cottage, The Square, Robin Hood's Bay, United Kingdom where he preached