William Dawson (1773-1841)
William Dawson was born in Garforth, Yorkshire, the son of a steward to a colliery manager. He had an Anglican background and was converted duing a communion service in 1791. Feeling a call to preach, he attached himself to the Methodists and became a local preacher in 1801. A year later Dawson was accepted for the itinerancy but was forced to decline because of lack of financial support for his dependents.
Dawson was a talented preacher who was much in demand. He addressed Methodist meetings across the country and supported the Conference in the various disputes which affected the movement. In 1838 funds were raised to allow him to leave his farm and travel on a full-time basis, preaching mainly in support of foreign missions.
Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)