- George Cubitt (1791-1850) was born in Norwich, Norfolk. His family moved to Sheffield in Yorkshire and Cubitt was converted at Carver Street Chapel in 1808. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1813 and served for three years as a missionary in Newfoundland from 1816. His overseas ministry was cut short by ill health and he returned to home Circuits in 1819. Cubitt was appointed Connexional Editor in 1842, a position which he held until his death which occurred in London after a short illness. Cubitt was a prolific writer who was widely esteemed in his own time, but whose work has now been largely forgotten. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Methodist Magazine 1851, pp.915-916.
- Samuel Sugden (1787-1855) was born in Bradford, Yorkshire. He was converted at the age of nineteen and entered the Wesleyan itinerancy as a home missionary in 1809. He exercised an active Circuit ministry until ill health forced his superannuation in 1845. He spent his retirement first at Bacup in Lancashire and then Stourbridge in Gloucestershire. Source: Methodist Magazine 1855, pp.855-856.
- Thomas Stanley (1772-1832) entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1795. He exercised an active Circuit ministry until his death, which occurred suddenly while he was Superintendent of the 6th London Circuit after paying a visit to the home of the musician Charles Wesley. Source: Methodist Magazine 1832, p.842.
- Jacob Stanley (1776-1851) was born at Alnwick, Northumberland. He was converted at the age of eleven and after moving to London, began to preach locally. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1797 and exercised an active Circuit ministry for fifty years. Stanley served as President of Conference in 1845. He was an opponent of the dominance of Jabez Bunting. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Methodist Magazine 1851, pp.913-914.
- Edmund Grindrod (1786-1842) was born near Rochdale in Lancashire. He entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1806 and as superintendent of the Leeds Circuit was actively involved in defence of the Connexion during the Leeds Organ dispute of 1827-28. Grindrod served as President of Conference in 1837 and just before his death published a compendium of the regulations governing Wesleyan Methodism. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).
- Robert Newton (1780-1854) was born at Roxby in Yorkshire. He was converted as a teenager and was admitted to the Wesleyan ministry on probation at the age of nineteen. Newton was a brilliant public speaker and fund-raiser whose great popularity necessitated his release from ordinary ministerial duties so that he could make full use of his talents. He was four times elected President of the Wesleyan Conference (1824, 1832, 1840 and 1848) and was secretary of the Conference on nineteen occasions. In 1840 he attended the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. Newton was a close associate of Jabez Bunting and was a champion of the conservative wing of the Wesleyan Church. He was superannuated in 1852 and died at Easingwold in Yorkshire. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Methodist Magazine 1854, pp.857-858.
- Robert Wood (d.1851) was the son of James Wood (1751-1840), twice President of the Wesleyan Conference. He was educated at Kingswood School and entered the ministry in 1811. He exercised an active Circuit ministry until shortly before his death. Source: Methodist Magazine 1851, pp.1012-1013.
- Alexander Bell (1778-1851) was converted at the age of seventeen by William Bramwell. He entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1810 and exercised an active Circuit ministry in Scotland and England until the time of his death. Source: Methodist Magazine 1851, pp.917-918.
- Theophilus Lessey (1787-1841) was born in Penzance, son of the Wesleyan itinerant of the same name. Lessey was baptised by John Wesley and was educated at Kingswood School. After some years as a local preacher, Lessey entered the ministry in 1808 and served as President of Conference in 1839. Shortly after completing his presidential year, Lessey's health suffered a severe decline which led to his early death. Source: Methodist Magazine 1841, pp.772-773 and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).
- Richard Watson (1781-1833) was born at Barton-on-Humber in Lincolnshire. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1796 but withdrew on doctrinal grounds in 1801 and joined the Methodist New Connexion in 1803. He returned to the Wesleyan Church in 1812 serving as President of Conference in 1826 and as secretary to the Wesleyan Missionary Society from 1821 to 1825. He was a leading opponent of slavery. Watson was a gifted writer and theologian. In 1818 he wrote a reply to Dr Adam Clarke's doctrine of the Eternal Sonship which caused some dispute within the Church. In 1823 he began to publish his Theological Institutes which remained a standard for many years and in 1831 wrote a well-regarded life of John Wesley. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).
- Joseph Mortimer (1797-1872) was born in Farndale, Yorkshire. He was converted at the age of twenty and after moving to Rosedale, founded two Methodist classes and established prayer meetings in an area where there had previously been no Methodist presence. In 1827 he was accepted as a probationer for the ministry and exercised an active Circuit ministry until superannuation in 1867. Source: Methodist Magazine 1872, pp.946-947.
- Thomas Kilner (1806-1878) was born near Doncaster, Yorkshire, and moved at an early age to Sheffield. He began to preach at the age of eighteen and entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1830. He served as a missionary in Ceylon for ten years before returning to England in 1840. During his time in Ceylon, Kilner compiled a dictionary in the Pali language. Upon his return from the east, Kilner was appointed to home Circuits. He became a supernumary in 1850 but returned to active service in 1861 and spent two years in charge of the English work in Rheims, France. He retired again in 1863. Source: Hill's Arrangement 1878 and Minutes of Conference 1878.
- William Dawson (1773-1841) was born in Garforth, Yorkshire. He had an Anglican background but attached himself to the Methodists at an early age. He became a local preacher in 1801 and was accepted for the itinerancy in 1802 but declined because of lack of financial support for his dependents. Dawson was a talented preacher who was much in demand. He addressed Methodist meetings across the country and supported the Conference in the various disputes which affected the movement. In 1838 funds were raised to allow him to leave his farm and travel on a full-time basis, preaching mainly in support of foreign missions. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).
From Stourbridge to George Cubitt in Sheffield, Yorkshire. It was with great pleasure that J R received Cubitt's letter of last November. It is good to hear from one of his dearest friends that health has so far been restored as to enable Cubitt to perform most of his duties. He has not replied previously as he wished to gain an impression of the minds of the people here before turning to Cubitt for advice as to whether or not he should stay a second year in this Circuit. At the last quarterly meeting they [J R and his ministerial colleague Samuel Sugden] were unanimously invited to stay. What shall he do? There are many reasons both for and against as follows:.
Reasons for .
The allowances are good - £7.10s per quarter and the people are generally kind and affectionate. There are six large chapels in the Circuit which are well-filled and they are going to build another which will be 55 feet by 40 feet inside. The Lord has blessed his labours and there is scarcely a place where there has not been striking instances of conversions and awakenings. The superintendent [Samuel Sugden] is kind and friendly. They preach nearly every night although the walks are short and the roads generally good. He is usually able to sleep at home every night and is able to study mornings and afternoons until 4. It is a very pleasant county in which to reside.
Reasons against .
His superintendent while a kind man is no George Cubitt. If J R was with him for twenty years, he would not learn as much as he did in six months from Cubitt. He has not had a word of advice or instruction on any subject. He is able to tell Cubitt as a friend that Sugden has little inclination himself to study and would have had J R out visiting all the time, had he not made a stand against him. There is certainly a striking contrast between Cubitt and Sugden, as J R had constant encouragement from Cubitt to study. There is moreover scarcely a literary man in the town and very little therefore in the way of help. He lives just three quarters of a mile from where he works.
He would therefore greatly value Cubitt's opinion. If there was any possibility of getting an appointment with Cubitt or close by, he would not hesitate for a moment. As this is unlikely, his own opinion is that it would be better for him to stay here.
As far as his studies are concerned, he is still pursuing the course of reading on which he was started by Cubitt. Generally speaking he makes two sermons? [or possibly two volumes] a week and is obliged to make one and a half. He studies [unreadable author and title], Norris on faith and reason, Davis's sermons, Butler's analogy, Baxter's Reformed pastor, the works of [John] Fletcher, the first volume of Wesley's Works, Ferguson's History of Rome, Gillies's History of Greece, Rollin's ancient history, Gibbon's Roman Empire, Sir Joshua Reynolds's discourses on fine arts (he thinks there are many good things in that work) and [Isaac] Newton's dissertations on [biblical] prophecies. He is also studying Hebrew and further improving his grasp of that subject by teaching it to one of the local preachers. He hopes that Cubitt will not forget his promise to send him the essay on study. They established a library here last week for the benefit of the society. They ordered a copy of Cubitt's sermons and he expects that he will be able to get orders in the town for three or four more sets.
J R was at Dudley yesterday and saw [Thomas and Jacob] Stanley. While he was there he received some strange Conference news that Robert Newton had been rejected at Liverpool North. 'I should think it will be no disgrace to a man to be voted away, after this'. He has also heard of the changes in Cubitt's town, that [Edmund] Grindrod had been invited to Bristol by the Circuit stewards previous to the Quarterly meeting and had subsequently been rejected by it, that [Joseph] Entwisle senior had been appointed to the Bath Circuit and [Joseph] Sutcliffe to Newbury. J R received a letter from Mrs Lancaster in Bath last week in which she stated that her husband [John] was quite in the dark as to where his next appointment would be, except that he knew he would not be staying in Bath. [Jabez] Bunting is leaving Salford at the end of two years there and has been appointed to London North [he was in fact sent to Liverpool North] and that Robert Wood has taken his place [as superintendent]. Alexander Bell is going to Macclesfield, [Theophilus] Lessey takes the place of [Richard] Watson [in the Manchester Grosvenor Street Circuit], who is expected to be appointed to Birmingham [he was in fact appointed to 1st London]. Both Stanleys are staying a third year in Dudley while [Joseph] Mortimer 'is invited as the third preacher to live at Tipton'. Reference is also made to John Gordon and Thomas Kilner being 'proposed? as young men'.
J R has read [Richard] Watson's affectionate address to certain leaders etc but wishes that he had gone a little further over this business in Leeds [reference to Leeds Organ dispute - see note below]. The Leeds men are circulating their protestant magazine about the neighbourhood and they have an agent in Dudley who is very active. There is however no danger of any harm being done by his activities.
He hopes that Cubitt's health continues good and wishes that he were in a position to assist him with his work. J R is considering visiting Manchester in the spring and if he does so, he will spend a day or two in Sheffield with Cubitt on the way.
There is much good work being done in the Dudley Circuit. In the last quarter fifty were received into full membership and a further one hundred and thirty on trial. In this Circuit [Stourbridge] about the same number have entered into full membership and ninety on trial. Their chapel is very crowded and there are plans to enlarge it in the spring. If the plans come to pass, it will be as big as Walcot Chapel in Bath. The new chapel in Dudley is to be opened in May - he understands that Robert Newton and William Dawson will preach at the opening. There is nobody like Newton in the whole country. Jacob Stanley is busy making books - he is collecting all the articles which he has written for magazines into one volume. His dialogues on Popery will also soon be out. Stanley is an intelligent, judicious and friendly man.
J R asks to be remembered to Mrs Cubitt and family as well as to Mr Bridgeman In 1826 a proposal to erect an organ in the Brunswick Chapel in Leeds, Yorkshire, was rejected by the District Meeting. The Conference of 1827 overruled the district which decision resulted in angry protests inside the Leeds Methodist Society. As a result, more than a thousand people split from the Wesleyans to form the Protestant Methodists which body joined the Wesleyan Methodist Association in 1837. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974).