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Thomas Percival Bunting (1811-1886)

Thomas Percival Bunting was the son of Jabez Bunting, the most important Wesleyan minister of the first half of the 19th century. Thomas was educated at Kingswood School between 1818 and 1824 and subsequently trained as a solicitor, setting up in business in Manchester.

Thomas was a devout Methodist and was regarded as one of the most important laymen of his generation. He had an inexhaustible appetite for committee work and sat on the most important Connexional bodies. As a member of the Committee of Privileges, he was a staunch supporter of his father and the fact that he inherited his father's papers increased his influence as he became 'a record-office of materials for forming a judgement on Methodist affairs.'

Thomas's obituary in the Methodist Magazine stated that 'he had taken part in every movement of modern Methodism.' Among the projects with which he was intimately involved was the Chapel Fund, the Centenary Fund and the Wesleyan Theological Instutition. He was also very active on the Wesleyan loyalist side at the time of the Flysheets controversy of the late 1840s.

In his consuming passion for Methodist affairs and wish to be involved in all aspects of Connexional business, Thomas was certainly Jabez Bunting's son and inherited the attention for detail that characterised his father. It was therefore fitting and perhaps inevitable that he wrote the standard biography of his father.

His son was the prominent lawyer Sir Percy William Bunting (1836-1911).

Source: Wesleyan Methodist Magazine 1886, 141-149 and John Vickers, A Dictionary of Methodism in Britain and Ireland (2000)

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