The Wesleys in Cornwall, 1743–1789

A Record of Their Activities Town by Town


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About the Book

In nearly a half-century of missionary work throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, brothers John and Charles Wesley found the southwestern county of Cornwall to be among their most serious theological and social challenges. Eighteenth-century Cornwall lacked population centers, and small towns and villages were isolated by inadequate roads. The adult population consisted mainly of miners, fisherman and smugglers—men more interested in the bulk of their pocketbooks than in the status of their souls. And the clergy of the Church of England overwhelmingly opposed the Wesleys and their itinerant preachers, encouraging Anglicans to disrupt the Wesleys’ outdoor services and to attack and burn Methodist preaching houses.
Although the Wesleys made some evangelical progress in Cornwall, the question remained upon John Wesley’s death in 1791: did the mission to Cornwall succeed or fail? This book considers the mission with a close reading of the Wesleys writings, and covers the overall history of 18th-century British Methodism and its contribution to the religious and social history of the British Empire.

About the Author(s)

Samuel J. Rogal, a retired professor of English, has published numerous scholarly books and articles on English literature and British and American Methodism. He lives in Normal, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Samuel J. Rogal
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9971-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2367-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Prefatory Note 1

1. Cornwall: An Introduction 3

2. Methodism in ­Eighteenth-Century Cornwall 17

3. The Wesleys in Cornwall: The Places 26

4. Summary, Conclusion and Assessment 199


Table 1: Preachers, Cornwall Circuit (1746–1791) 205

Table 2: Membership, Cornwall Methodist Societies (1765–1791) 210

Table 3: Funds Allocated to Cornwall (1766–1791) 211

Table 4: Places in Cornwall Visited by Charles Wesley/John Wesley 212

Chapter Notes 214

Bibliography 225

Index to Citations from Scriptures 229

Index of Persons, Places and General Topics 231