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Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), Composer and organist; nephew of John Wesley

Sitter in 2 portraits
Samuel Wesley was best known as an organist and was particularly famed for his impromptu performances. The most original British composer of his time, his works include church and chamber music, concertos, overtures, six symphonies and a large body of works for organ and piano. Wesley's father was the hymn writer Charles Wesley and his uncle John Wesley was the evangelist and leader of Methodism. Samuel Wesley was a musical child prodigy. Despite his brilliance as a composer and organist however, Wesley held no official or church appointments of any importance. He had a rebellious nature and his mood swings were often violent, and these attributes probably hindered his career.

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Samuel Wesley

by John Jackson
oil on canvas, circa 1815-1820
NPG 2040


Samuel Wesley

by William Dickinson, published by J. Walker, after John Russell
mezzotint, published 1778
NPG D15676