Wesleyan Methodism in the Congleton Circuit by Rev. J. B. Dyson, 1856

Complete 9 chapters (298KB rtf) available at March 2004.

Class Ticket issued 1762, illustration in Chapter 3 (40KB GIF)

This book contains some interesting accounts of Methodism during the early years of John Wesley's ministry, and is invaluable for any student of Methodism of that time.

Copy in .rtf using OCR. May contain spelling mistakes due to OCR process. Old spellings (for example, Rewlatch) have been retained.

Notes on points of interest

(Links from places are to MultiMap pages)

(For a general web site covering this part of England, see www.odd-rode.org.uk , a web site for the history of Astbury and Odd-Rode Parishes.
Many places mentioned in this book are on this web site.)

CH. 1 ; 1738 – 1745

Contents : - The development of religion not like that of science – The light of Methodism sometimes arose in obscurity – Persecution overruled for good – Subordinate agents raised up in various parts of the nation – David Taylor's ministry – John Bennet's conversion – begins to preach – extent of his round – Separates from Mr. Wesley, and becomes the pastor of an Independent church – Mrs. Bennet noticed – Band-meetings explained – Preaching at Shrigley-fold, near Macclesfield – Thomas Buckley, from Astbury, and others, attend – Mr. Wesley preaches at Roger Moss's near Rode Hall

Notes : -

CH. 2 ; 1745 – 1749

Contents : - The conversion of Richard Moss, one of the early Methodist Preachers – begins to preach – narrowly escapes being pressed for a soldier – his health fails – becomes a Church missionary – Old-house-green, the probable residence of Roger Moss – "The work" breaks out at Betley and Alpraham – Astbury taken into John Bennet's round – Charles and John Wesley's first visit to Astbury and Congleton – The Rev. William Grimshaw preaches at Astbury – his character end labours noticed – John Nelson visits the societies in these parts – Conversion of Thomas Buckley – Mr. Richard Buckley, of Chester – Mr. Wesley's second visit – Death of a persecutor – Anecdotes of John and Charles Wesley – Yearly collection instituted

Notes : -

CH. 3 ; 1749-1763

Contents : - Manchester round – The first Conference-Number of circuits in 1746 – The first Quarterly Meeting in Cheshire – its financial statetment – Peter Jaco's labours and hardships – The early Methodist Preachers went out without purse or scrip – Moral state of the nation – The first society in Congleton – Extent of the Manchester circuit – names of places – List of names of members – The first chapel in Congleton – Mr. Wesley visits Biddulph – Character of its inhabitants – Prayer-meetings introduced – productive of a revival – Matthew Mayer's usefulness – Mr. Wesley's account of the revival – John Furze – success of his ministry – Remarkable conversion

Notes : - This chapter includes a description of the first Class Tickets, with an example.

CH. 4 ; 1764-1782

Contents : - Mr. Wesley opposed by the higher classes in Congleton – The chapel noticed – Singular way in which persecution was put down – The readiness with which Mr. Wesley accommodated himself to circumstances – New chapel, Wagg-street – William Stonier and Thomas Garside, Esq, noticed – Extent of the Manchester circuit – Letter from John Pawson – Macclesfield divided from Manchester – Preaching introduced weekly at Congleton – Joshua Staton – Mr. Wesley at Congleton – Sketch of the Rev. David Simpson – Mr. Wesley called away from Congleton to Bristol – The Lime-kilm – Thomas Moor – Mr. Wesley again at Congleton – Division in the Society – Mr. Wesley's notice of it – Burslem made the head of a Circuit

Notes : - References to Richard and Rowland Hill. They lived not far away, at Hawkstone (near Marchamley), which is now a Country Park and open to visitors. This is the Rowland Hill of fame in the 19th century.

Mr. James Rogers, during his time at Congleton (1782 - 4) married Hester Ann Roe, daughter of the Vicar of Macclesfield, and regarded as possibly the most spiritual woman in Methodism at that time. Her letters read as if written by John Wesley.

CH. 5 ; 1783-1787

Contents : - The ease with which Mr. Wesley adjusted differences – Mr. Wesley's labours at Congleton made a blessing to Mr. J. Booth – State of the Society – Mr. Wesley passes through on his way to and from Ireland – Introduction of Methodism into Sandbach – Conversion of Miss Harrison, of Wheelock – Growth of the Society – Letter – Commencement of the work at Withington – Bigotry – Persecution – Myles Martindale stopped on the way – Mr. Allen's visit to Dingle Smithy – His life placed in jeopardy – A buffoon abashed – Awful end of the persecutors – Mr. Wesley's nineteenth visit to Congleton – Mr. Troutbeck and Mrs. Guilford

Notes : -

CH. 6 ; 1788-1803

Contents : - Mr. Wesley opens a new chapel at Leek, and preaches at Congleton – Excites great interest – His last visit – Description of his person – Sketch of G. Shadford – Samuel Bardsley – anecdote of him – Siddington – Origin of the Sabbath School at Congleton – Preaching commenced at Overton Hall, SmallwoodDavenport – Gillow-shaw Brook – Sabbath School – Rev. Jabez (now Dr.) Bunting appointed to Macclesfield Circuit – Anecdote

Notes : -

CH. 7 ; 1804-1819

Contents : - Congleton made the head of a Circuit – Revival – New chapel – Was the cathedral of Methodism in this locality – Trustees – Spread of the Revival to Sandbach – New chapel erected there – Bosley-Works – Nantwich – Hassall-Green – Moral transformation – Narrative of the change – John Hanwell – Introduction of Methodism into Lawton and Key-Green – Withington chapel built – Old Hall – Theophilus Lessey preaches there – afterwards appointed to this Circuit – School-room erected at Smallwood – Dr. Coke preaches at Congleton – Preaching renewed at Siddington -Far-Dane-in-Shaw – School-rooms built at Congleton and Sandbach

Notes : -

CH. 8 ; 1819-1839.

Contents : - Buglawton – Revival – Extends to Hassall-Green, Street-lane, and Lawton – Class-meetings – Remarks on – Rise of the cause at the Rookery – Conversion of a Clergyman – Chapel erected at Hassall-Green – Extensive Revival – reaches Buglawton – Bosley chapel – Mrs. Garside – Mr. W. Drakeford – The Rev. C. C. Kirkpatrick – Warrenite agitation – Caused a division at Sandbach – Subsequent prosperity – Reduction of chapel debt – Split in the school at Congleton – Present State – Character of the day-school

Notes : -

CH. 9 ; 1839-1856.

Contents : - Sketch of the Rev. G. Lowe – Mr. C. Pedloy – Key-Green chapel built – Mr. and Mrs. Barlow – John Jackson, Esq. – Sketch of Mr. John Edwards – Rookery chapel and school – Sandbach Heath – Thomas Garside, Esq. – Brownlow – Reduction of the debt on the Congleton chapel – Mrs. Higginbottom – Contemplated division of the circuit – Resolutions of the Quarterly Meeting – Young-men's Improvement Society – Concluding remarks – Tables

Notes : -


Maps (to be drawn, for general guidance and explanation)

Family Tree of Methodist Circuits covering North Staffordshire (35k gif)

Extent of Macclesfield Circuit, 1770 (34k gif)

The Leek Circuit Local Preachers Plan 1798 (51k gif)

The Leek Circuit, Chapel Dates (107k gif)

Maps and Diagrams folder

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07 March 2004