Charles Wesley (1707-88)
Charles Wesley portrait engraving by Stodhart; A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, 1737, hymnbook by Charles Wesley; engraving of portrait of Charles Wesley on card. Images copyright ©The University of Manchester, The John Rylands University Library
The Anglican minister, Methodist preacher and religious poet Charles Wesley was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, in December 1707 and died in London, in March 1788. Wesley was regarded by contemporaries as one of the greatest preachers of the Evangelical Revival, but it as a hymn writer that he is best known today. His works include the popular classics “Hark the herald angels sing” and “Love divine, all loves excelling”.
The Archives Hub includes a detailed catalogue of Wesley’s personal papers including letters, sermons and poems as well as the papers of family members including Wesley’s brother the founder of Methodism John Wesley and his son the musician Samuel Wesley.
- Dr. Gareth Lloyd, Methodist Archivist, Methodist Archives and Research Centre, The University of Manchester, The John Rylands University Library.
We have also included a list descriptions of other collections relating to early Methodism, with some suggested reading, and some links to online resources.
Methodist Archives Research Centre collections
Related early Methodist collections
are provided to records on Copac for these items. The Copac library catalogue gives free access to the merged online catalogues of major University, Specialist, and National Libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. For more information about accessing items see the FAQs on the Copac website.
- Charles Wesley - As Revealed by his Letters by Frank Baker (1948) Records
- Charles Wesley: the first Methodist by Frederick C. Gill (1964) Records
- Charles Wesley and the struggle for Methodist identity by Gareth Lloyd (2007)
- The Sermons of Charles Wesley: A critical edition with introduction and notes edited by Kenneth Newport (2001) Records
- The manuscript journal of the Reverend Charles Wesley edited by Kenneth Newport and S. T. Kimbrough (2 volumes, 2007) Records
- Music scores and sound recordings Records
Links have been reviewed and catalogued by Intute. Intute is a free online service that helps you to find the best web resources for your studies and research. With millions of resources available on the Internet, it can be difficult to find useful material. Intute subject specialists review and evaluate thousands of resources to help you choose the key websites in your subject.
- Methodist Collections: website of the Methodist Archives and Research Centre, John Rylands University Library of Manchester
- British Methodism and the Poor 1739-1999: all the items displayed in this virtual exhibition are from the Archives of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, which are on permanent loan at
The University of Manchester, The John Rylands University Library
- Methodist Missionary Society History Project:
established at the initiative of the Archives and History Committee of the Methodist Church (Edinburgh University Divinity School website).
- Manchester Wesley Research Centre: promotes and supports research on the life and work of John and Charles Wesley, and their contemporaries in the 18th century Evangelical Revival; publishes Wesley and Methodist Studies journal.
- Women's Network of the Methodist Church: aims to "encourage, enable and equip women to participate fully in the life of the Church and in society"
- Pratt Green Trust:
charity to promote the singing and writing of hymns, set up in 1984 by the Methodist hymn-writer Fred Pratt Green
The Hymns of Charles Wesley: recordings available as MIDI audio files (General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church in America)
- Wesley Historical Society: registered charity, founded in 1893.
- Wesley Historical Database: searchable database for a library comprising 12,000 printed items and some manuscripts accumulated by the Wesley Historical Society (Yorkshire Branch), deposited at The University Archives and Special Collections, University of Huddersfield. This includes histories of many chapels (but no registers), the Methodist Recorder and other journals and much material relating to the Wesley family. It is a nationally important research resource for Methodist history
The following links are to online exhibitions commemorating the lives and ministries of Charles Wesley and his brother John.
February 2010: Charles Wesley (1707-88)
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