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John Broadhurst (fl.1807)

John Broadhurst was a wealthy Manchester textile merchant and founder of a famous company that traded under his family name. A devout Methodist, Broadhurst was a fervent supporter of revivalism and this led him into conflict with the Church hierarchy. In 1803 he was charged with admitting non-members of the societies into meetings at the Manchester North Street Band Room, but continued to defy his critics. With the appointment of the strict disciplinarian Jabez Bunting to Manchester in 1805, a more serious attempt was made to bring Broadhurst and his supporters into line and to curb their unrestrained passionate displays of spiritual fervour. This led to a division within the society that ultimately resulted in the formation of the Independent Methodist Connexion.

Source: Methodist Secessions: The origins of Free Methodism in three Lancashire towns by D. A. Gowland (Manchester University Press, printed for the Chetham Society 1979), 22-23.

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