Charles Wesley

WESLEY, Charles. b. Epworth, Lincolnshire, 18 December 1707; d. London, 29 March 1788. He was youngest son and 16th/17th child (though calculations vary) of Samuel Wesley (I)* and the redoubtable Susanna, and younger brother to John*. From Westminster School (1716-26), first as King’s Scholar and finally Captain of the school, he gained a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1730, MA 1733). He became leader (in John’s absence as their father’s curate) of a small group known as the ‘Holy Club’: Charles recalled in a letter fifty years later that the behaviour of members of the Holy Club ‘gave me the harmless nickname of Methodist’, and this accounts for the title often accorded him of...

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