GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameSamuel Wesley
Livedb. ca. 1662-12-17 - d. 1739-11-06 (old)
Linked Sermons1st Sermon on Whitsunday May 16 1714 -- preacher (autograph: yes)2nd Sermon on Whitsunday -- preacher (autograph: yes)3rd Sermon on Whitsunday -- preacher (autograph: yes)4th Sermon on Whitsontide -- preacher (autograph: yes)5th Sermon [on Whitsontide] -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon 1 on 1 Peter 4:3-5 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon 1 on Psalms 94:10 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon 1 on Revelation 1:5 -- preacher? (autograph: yes)Sermon 2 on 1 Peter 4:3-5 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon 2 on Psalms 94:10 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon 2 on Revelation 1:5 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon 3 on 1 Peter 4:3-5 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon 4 on 1 Peter 4:3-5 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon fragment on unknown text -- preacher (autograph: uncertain)Sermon on 2 Cornthians 13:11 -- preacher (autograph: uncertain)Sermon on Luke 13:24 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon on Luke 24:32 -- preacher (autograph: yes)Sermon on Proverbs 25:20 -- preacher (autograph: uncertain)Sermon on Psalm 11:4 -- preacher (autograph: uncertain)Sermon on unidentified text -- preacher (autograph: uncertain)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesCorpus Christi College -- Place of StudyDorchester Grammar School -- Place of StudyExeter College -- Place of StudyNewington Green -- Place of StudyStepney -- Place of StudyEpworth -- PostNewington Butts -- PostSouth Ormsby -- PostSt Botolph Aldersgate -- Post
Source of DataCatherine Evans
Biographical Sources ConsultedODNB (Article: 29070)
Other NoteSamuel Wesley (the Elder) was baptized in Winterborne, Dorset, the third child of the Revd. John Westley (1635/6 - 1671), rector there who would later be ejected. He was educated at Dorchester Grammar school, under Edward Veel in Stepney and by Charles Morton in Newington Green. Despite his dissenting views he was encouraged to study at Oxford and matriculated on 18 November 1684, although he was often impoverished and mocked by others by his belief. While at university, he published anonymously a book of verse, "Maggots" (1685). During this time he must have become conformist, likely due to Tillotson’s influence. He graduated in 1688 and moved to London, being ordained deacon at Bromley on 7 August 1688. he was then curate of St. Botolph for under a year. During his tenure there he married Susanna Annesley (1669 - 1742), the youngest daughter of Dr Samuel Annesley a leading dissenting minster. They would go on to have a famously large family of either 17 or 19 children, including his eldest child, the more famous Samuel Wesley the younger (1690/1 – 1739). After he was ordained in February 1689, he spent six months at sea as naval chaplain. At the beginning of 1690 he obtained a curacy at Newington Butts. He would refuse a post in Virginia for a living in South Ormsby in 1691 to which he added another curacy in 1692. Whilst in this post he contributed regularly to the Athenian Gazette and wrote and published poetry, including the heroic poem "The life of our Blessed Lord and Saviour" (1693), which he dedicated to Queen Mary. In 1694 he was incorporated MA at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He resigned from his post in South Ormsby following his refusal to allow the mistress of James Saunderson (later earl of Castleton) to visit Susanna Wesley (his wife). On 15 March 1695 Wesley was appointed by the crown as rector of Epworth, Lincolnshire, likely due to his political support. Wesley complained of the children’s ignorance of religion and the meagreness of the living. He was already in debt when he arrived, and by 1700 owed £300. He was also visited by a number of natural disasters and attacks on his property, with potential arson involved in fires at the rectory of 1702 and 1709. He backed tory candidates in a disputed election in 1705, and was attacked for this, reporting 'drumming, shouting and firing of pistols and guns under the window where my wife lay, who had been brought to bed not three weeks'. His detractors saw him imprisoned for debt, but he was released. He and his wife differed politically, as Susanna supported the divine right of the exiled Stuarts, which caused them to sometimes become estranged. In the early eighteenth-century Wesley found himself at the centre of controversy. A letter of his attacking dissenting academies was published (allegedly without his consent), leading to an exchange of polemical pamphlets. His later life was dogged with debts, family misfortunes as he meddled in the marriages of his daughters, which all ended unhappily. However, he also wrote and published widely including voluminous writings on the book of Job. In 1731 he was injured by a fall from a wagon, and never fully recovered, dying in 1735.
GEMMS record createdNovember 23, 2021
GEMMS record last editedAugust 09, 2022