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Frances Pawson (1736-1809)

Frances Pawson was born into the wealthy Mortimer family of York. Her brother Dr Charles Mortimer was Rector of Lincoln College Oxford.

Raised an Anglican, she began to experience religious leanings after a visit to London and was finally converted in about 1770 under Methodist influence.

She did not join the society for some years in deference to her mother's wishes, but attended chapel and was a member of the class led by Mrs Bathsheba Hall. She was also a friend of Sarah Crosby, Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher and Elizabeth Ritchie.

In 1782 she married Revd. William Wren of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, despite serious misgivings about their theological differences.

Her husband died in August 1784 and a year later she married the prominent Wesleyan preacher John Pawson. She played a very active supporting active role in her husband's ministry, particularly in the formation and leadership of women's classes.

After Pawson died in 1806 she moved to Leeds where she spent the remainder of her life.

Frances was regarded as a model minister's wife and as such was the subject of biographical memoirs after her death.

Source: Thomas Morrow, Early Methodist Women (1967), Dr John Lyth, Glimpses of Early Methodism in York (1885) and Joseph Sutcliffe, The Experience of the late Mrs Frances Pawson (1813)

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