John Hickling (1765-1858)
John Hickling was born at Hathern, Leicestershire. He started to attend Methodist worship at the age of 17 and was converted shortly after. He became a local preacher in 1788 and that same year entered the itinerancy. His active circuit ministry was exercised principally in the North of England and the Midlands. He superannuated in 1836 and spent his retirement in Newark and then from 1856 in Newcastle under Lyme where he died on 9th November 1858.
His conference obituary described Hickling as a man of blameless character of great kindness and attachment to the discipline of Methodism. His preaching was 'distinguished by a clear, full and bold enunciation of evangelical truth&He dwelt especially on the doctrines of justification by faith only, the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fact of a penitent believer's adoption into the family of God, regeneration and all outward and inward holiness&' He was particularly noted for the quality of his public prayer.
Hickling was the last survivor of the itinerants who entered the ministry during John Wesley's lifetime.
Source: Hill's Arrangement 1858 and Minutes of Conference 1859