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Robert Emmett (b.1789)

Robert Emmett of Halifax in Yorkshire was probably a son of the layman Robert Emmett (d.1818). He entered the itinerancy in 1811 on the recommendation of the Halifax circuit and exercised a circuit ministry in the North of England until superannuation in 1820. After withdrawal from the active ministry, Emmett settled in Stockton.

Emmett was expelled by the Conference of 1835 'having been found guilty of sowing a discord among brethren, of promoting strife and contention in our societies, and of resisting the constituted authorities of the Connexion; and having exhibited no sign of a contrition or amendment.'

It is likely that Emmett's case was connected with that of Samuel Warren and other opponents of the autocratic tendencies of Wesleyan Methodism at this time. The charges laid against Emmett were similar in nature to those leveled by the same Conference against the reformer John Averill.

Emmett does not appear to have joined other reformers in founding the break-away Wesleyan Methodist Association as his name does not appear in its list of ministers. With his expulsion, Emmett effectively vanished from the Methodist historical record.

Source: Manuscript Journal of the Wesleyan Conference 1835 (MARC), List of Wesleyan Preachers on Trial 1803-1831 (MARC), Hill's Arrangement 1827 and 1833, Oliver Beckerlegge, United Methodist Ministers and their Circuits 1797-1932 (1968)

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