William Henry Loxdale Eden (1782-1868)
William Henry Loxdale Eden was born in Shrewsbury, the son of Thomas Eden, Vicar of Ilmington of Gloucestershire and Mary, daughter of Thomas Loxdale of Shropshire. Mary's sisters were Ann Loxdale, correspondent of John Wesley and wife of Dr Thomas Coke, and Sarah Loxdale, a prominent Liverpool Methodist and wife of Thomas Hill, Vicar of Crosby. Eden's parents died when he was a young child and he was left in the care of his aunt Sarah.
Eden was educated privately by Dr Birnie of Greenwich in London. He then entered the army as an officer of the First Royal Dragoons. He was converted in 1809 under the influence of his aunts and was put forward for the Methodist ministry by the Prescot circuit in 1812. He commenced his circuit ministry at Preston but resigned from the itinerancy of his own accord in 1827 after falling into debt. Eden continued to be a member of the Connexion and served as a class leader until shortly before his death on December 14th 1868.
Source: Fletcher-Tooth collection, Wesleyan Methodist Magazine 1870, 188-190, Hill's Arrangement 1827, Conference Journal 1827 and manuscript list of preachers on trial 1812