Orphaned in infancy, Samuel Wesley, the son and
grandson of clergy, was the father of John Wesley. In his youth, he
attended Newington Green, a private school for dissenters in
preparation for become a clergy in that movement. At the private
school, he met school mate Daniel Defoe, who later was to write the
novels Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders.
Later Samuel converted to the Church of England
while at Oxford. He served the parish of Epworth in Lincolnshire for
almost 40 years. John Wesley was born at Epworth and grew up there.
Samuel published a commentary on Job. Samuel could not manage money
well and angered his parishioners with his strictness.
Samuel Wesley, father of John Wesley
Samuel Wesley was a poet and a hymn writer, but
most of his work was lost in the fire at Epworth. One hymn that was
not burned, "Behold the Savior of Mankind," has been
preserved in Methodist hymnbooks. He dropped the "t" from
the Wesley name, making it Wesley.
When John Wesley was shut
out of preaching