Charles Wesley portrait engraving by Stodhart; A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, 1737, hymnbook by Charles Wesley; engraving of portrait of Charles Wesley on card. Images copyright ©The University of Manchester, The John Rylands University Library
The Anglican minister, Methodist preacher and religious poet Charles Wesley was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, in December 1707 and died in London, in March 1788. Wesley was regarded by contemporaries as one of the greatest preachers of the Evangelical Revival, but it as a hymn writer that he is best known today. His works include the popular classics “Hark the herald angels sing” and “Love divine, all loves excelling”.
The Archives Hub includes a detailed catalogue of Wesley’s personal papers including letters, sermons and poems as well as the papers of family members including Wesley’s brother the founder of Methodism John Wesley and his son the musician Samuel Wesley.
- Dr. Gareth Lloyd, Methodist Archivist, Methodist Collections, The University of Manchester, The John Rylands University Library.
Methodist Archives Research Centre collections
- Charles Wesley Papers 1721-1810: this collection includes letters, literary manuscripts, notebooks, and scrapbooks.
- Wesley Family Papers 1685-1883: includes papers of Charles Wesley, John Wesley (1703-1791), Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), and other family members.
- Early Preachers Collection 1732-1831: several thousand letters and other personal papers created by the preachers and lay-people of the Methodist Church and related evangelical movements from the early 18th century to the present.
- Wesley Guild Manuscript Collection 1896-1995: originated as a youth movement in the 1890s, the Guild went on to establish overseas missions and missionary hospitals.
Related early Methodist collections
- Wesley Historical Society Library: the Library primarily covers the history and beliefs of the Methodist Church in Britain through its different branches.
- Canterbury Methodist Church Deeds: deeds relating to the site of Canterbury Methodist Church and Primitive Methodist Church in The Borough, Canterbury.
- Methodist Circuit of Swansea and Gower: Swansea became the head of the first Wesleyan Methodist Circuit in West Glamorgan in 1795. The Gower Methodist societies were part of the Swansea Circuit from 1795 until 1864 when they were formed into a separate Gower Circuit.
- Charles Walker Posnett and Charles Gordon Early: Posnett (1870-1950) and Early (1889-1975) were Methodist missionaries to India.
- Anti-Slavery Papers: collected by the Methodist Missionary Society; printed items include a copy of John Wesley's Thoughts upon Slavery published in 1774.
Links are provided to records on Copac for these items. The Copac library catalogue gives free access to the merged online catalogues of major University, Specialist, and National Libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. For more information about accessing items see the FAQs on the Copac website.
- Charles Wesley - As Revealed by his Letters by Frank Baker (1948) Records on Copac
- Charles Wesley: the first Methodist by Frederick C. Gill (1964) Records on Copac
- Charles Wesley and the struggle for Methodist identity by Gareth Lloyd (2007) Records on Copac
- The Sermons of Charles Wesley: A critical edition with introduction and notes edited by Kenneth Newport (2001) Records on Copac
- The manuscript journal of the Reverend Charles Wesley edited by Kenneth Newport and S. T. Kimbrough (2 volumes, 2007) Records on Copac
- Music scores and sound recordings Records on Copac
- Methodist Collections: (previously the Methodist Archives and Research Centre), John Rylands University Library of Manchester
- Manchester Wesley Research Centre: promotes and supports research on the life and work of John and Charles Wesley, and their contemporaries in the 18th century Evangelical Revival; publishes Wesley and Methodist Studies journal.
- Pratt Green Trust: charity to promote the singing and writing of hymns, set up in 1984 by the Methodist hymn-writer Fred Pratt Green
- Wesley Historical Society: registered charity, founded in 1893.
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