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Samuel Bardsley (c.1746-1818)

Samuel Bardsley was probably born in Manchester, the son of Martha Bardsley (father's name unknown). He had at least two brothers [Jeremiah and John] and one sister and in 1765, when he was first introduced to John Wesley, he was working as an errand boy and bottle washer for a Manchester merchant.

Bardsley entered the itinerancy in 1768 and for a time was the senior preacher of the Connexion, having served important circuits in England and Scotland. He was a powerful speaker held in high esteem by John Wesley, with whom he often corresponded. Bardsley was one of the hundred preachers named in Wesley's Deed of Declaration, although it is curious to note that Wesley never appears to have appointed him to the office of assistant.

Bardsley remained in the active ministry until his death, which occurred suddenly in August 1818, while travelling home from the Leeds Conference.

Bardsley had been engaged in the late 1760s to the Manchester Methodist Molly Charlton, but ended the relationship because of his mother's and John Wesley's opposition. He remained single for the rest of his life.

Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974),  Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995, A Dictionary of Methodism in Britain and Ireland, edited by John Vickers (Epworth Press 2000) and information supplied by John Lenton

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