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Melville Horne (c.1761-c.1841)

Melville Horne was the son of an Antiguan barrister and planter and the nephew of Nathaniel Gilbert (c.1721-1774) the pioneer of West Indian Methodism. Horne entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1784 and was ordained into the Anglican ministry a short time after on John Wesley's recommendation. In 1786 he succeeded to the curacy at John Fletcher's old parish of Madeley, but retained his connection with Methodism and was appointed Superintendent of the new Wolverhampton circuit in 1787.

In 1792 Horne became chaplain of Sierra Leone in West Africa where he joined his second cousin Nathaniel Gilbert junior. He was however unable to adapt to the climate and returned to England in 1793 and published his Letters on Missions a year later.

Horne served as Vicar of Olney from 1796 to 1799 and then succeeded the evangelical minister David Simpson at Christ Church Macclesfield.

Horne enjoyed a close friendship with Jabez Bunting but this turned to coldness on both sides which culminated in Horne's final break with Methodism in 1809.

He later served Anglican parishes in Essex, Cornwall and Salford.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)

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