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Thomas Mitchell (1726-84)

Thomas Mitchell was born in Bingley, Yorkshire. He was apprenticed for several years to a mason but in 1745 enlisted in the army for the duration of the Jacobite uprising.

After leaving the army he started attending Methodist meetings and came under the influence of John Nelson and William Grimshaw. Finally converted by Charles Wesley, Mitchell entered the itinerancy in 1748 and laboured chiefly in Yorkshire and Lancashire, enduring some persecution. He accompanied John Wesley from Newcastle to York in 1753 and remained in the itnerancy until his death at Keighley.

Mitchell was described as a man who compensated with piety and zeal for meagre preaching ability. He had a particular gift for outreach among the poor, which gave rise to his being termed the 'Poor Man's Preacher'. He was also an outspoken supporter of the right of women to preach.

Source: Wesley's Veterans - Lives of Early Methodist Preachers told by themselves, with additions and annotations by John Telford, pp.175-196 (n.d), Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)

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