George Whitefield (1714-1770), Methodist leader
Sitter in 13 portraits
Whitefield was a major force in the development of Methodism and the widespread evangelical revival of the early eighteenth century. In the 1730s he was a member of John Wesley's 'Holy Club' at Oxford but, favouring a more Calvinistic form of Methodism, Whitefield broke from Wesley in 1741. The Anglican Church had not assigned him pulpit so he began preaching in parks and fields in England on his own, reaching out to people who normally did not attend church. Whitefield's fervour, his small stature, and even his cross-eyed appearance all served to make him popular in Wales and Scotland as well as in America. His sermons were often advertised before he arrived to ensure large turnouts.