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John Wesley (1703-1791), Methodist leader

Sitter in 30 portraits
Wesley was the founder of Methodism. This evangelical movement grew from the 'Holy Club' of his Oxford friends, in the late 1720s, into the most influential religious group in eighteenth-century Britain. A Church of England clergyman, Wesley gave sermons around the country, averaging 8,000 miles a year on horseback, and wrote hundreds of hymns and tracts. The reluctance of the Anglican clergy to lend him their pulpits led him, urged on by fellow clergyman George Whitefield, to preach in the open air. This unorthodox decision ensured Methodism reached the masses as well as people who were alienated by the Church's complacency. He was the brother of Charles and uncle of Samuel.

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'The First Wesleyan Conference'

by Unknown engraver
line engraving, 19th century
NPG D8304


John Wesley

by Fry, after a print by Bland
stipple engraving, published 1824
NPG D6848


John Wesley with a view of Epworth Church

by William Ward, published by Thomas Roberts, after John Jackson, after George Romney
mezzotint and etching, published 1 August 1825 (1789)
NPG D37653


John Wesley ('The death of the Revrd John Wesley A.M.')

published by S. Lipschitz
lithograph, published 22 April 1870
NPG D37686


John Wesley

by James Watson, printed by Robert Sayer, after J. Williams
mezzotint, published circa 1745-1794
NPG D14216


John Wesley

by Bland, after Nathaniel Hone
line engraving, circa 1766
NPG D16940


John Wesley

by John Greenwood, published by Robert Sayer, after Nathaniel Hone
mezzotint, published 20 December 1770 (circa 1766)
NPG D20225


John Wesley

by James Fittler, published by James Milbourne, after William Hamilton
line engraving, published November 1788 (1788)
NPG D19112


John Wesley

by James Thomson (Thompson), published by J. Mason, after John Jackson
stipple engraving, 1828
NPG D19113