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William Eels (d.1793?)

William Eels was a native of North Shields in Northumberland. He entered the itinerancy in 1772 and exercised an active circuit ministry in Scotland and England for sixteen years. During his time in the Bolton Circuit, he married a woman of considerable means.

Eeels opposed the introduction of the Legal Hundred and left the Methodists in 1788 after his name was mistakenly omitted from the Minutes of Conference. He subsequently joined with John Atlay when he sided with the trustees of Dewsbury Chapel and Eels preached for the dissident societies in Dewsbury and North Shields.

In 1791 Eels quarelled with Atlay and attempted a reconciliation with the Wesleyans.

Source: A List of Methodist Preachers (Bristol 1801) by William Myles, A Biographical Dictionary of 18th Century Methodism by Samuel Rogal (Lewston, New York 1991) and The Life and Times of John Wesley, volume III, by Luke Tyerman (London 1890), 558-559

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