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23 Jan 2012

Being held by a young Wesley

Long forgotten were two tedious stories by my great-grandfather Rev'd A H Creed, whose memories I typed up in the 1980s, and which now seem to have disappeared.

1) that a bankrupt Scottish Laird had come down to Somerset to begin again.  I doubt it.  I shall file this story under our most un-Scottish Scotts.

2) that an ancestor of Albert's was held as a baby by John Wesley, founder of Methodism, and perhaps also perhaps baptised by him.  Let us examine this one more closely.  Albert gave us some details about the baby: she was a girl, and she was his great-great-grandmother.  The good news is that the dates fit.  Such a child would be born before the 1750s, when there was a good deal of Methodist activity in Somerset.  I am going to list his great-great-grandmothers and, to be exhaustive, those of the next generation as well:
* Rachel Coombs c 1733
* Ann (later Padfield) c 1735
* Betty Young 1742 - daughter known to have hated Methodism
* Jane Lester c 1750   - church-goers
* Mary Earl c 1752 - church-goers
* Miriam Bond 1753 (twice) - mother known to have attended church
* Mary Portch c 1756  - church-goers
* Mary Hill 1763 - wrong generation
* Betty Scott 1778 - too late
* Martha Scott c 1784 - too late, though no baptism found
* Priscilla Newport 1784  - church-goers

We have CofE baptisms for many of these and several passed onto their children a strong Anglican inclination, as noted.  The ground thins fast leaving us with two options, Ann Padfield and Rachel.  I strongly suspect that some of Rachel's grandchildren became Methodists, but her own children seem linked in to the church.

Albert's brother said they were fifth in the line of Methodists, and the strongest Methodist line were the Padfields of North Somerset, a mining area.  Methodism took hold here in those early days, far more than in the southern Mendips.  Yeoman farmers were very comfortably off at this period: vast diaspora of farmers had yet to contribute to low wheat prices.  I think Wesley was in North Somerset fairly early, with his deputies, Adam Clarke, Jabez Bunting, working the ground later. 

About Ann Padfield, we know that she died fairly young.  Her married a proud woman, certainly a church-goer, who kicked out his son.  We know the boy’s uncle Isaac remained a Methodist, probably since those early 1730s, and supported the boy as he too found his faith and purpose. 

So my candidate for this story is Ann, being held by a 32 year-old Wesley in a Somerset mining community, and whose brave son would have been proud to carry the memory onward.  But we shall have to check Wesley's diaries to find his movements in more detail.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of familiar names on my tree from around Glastonbury.Check out http://www.wikitree.com

    John Lester

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