William Atherton (1775-1850)
William Atherton was born at Lamberhead Green near Leigh in Lancashire. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1797 and served with great distinction in England and Scotland until shortly before his death.
Atherton was well-known for his forceful preaching and considerable debating skills. In 1846 he was elected to the office of President of Conference, despite his opposition to the dominance of Jabez Bunting.
Source: Minutes of Conference 1851 and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)