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Richard Pattison (1769-1839)

Richard Pattison was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, into a family of dissenters. His father died when Pattison was aged eight and he was raised by his mother.

Pattison started at frequent the local Methodist chapel at the age of fifteen for the purpose of disturbing the congregation, but was converted by a sermon preached by the Wesleyan minister Jonathan Coussins. He became a member of a Methodist class and a local preacher before offering himself for the overseas mission in 1791.

Pattison was appointed to the West Indies and served there for seven years. Declining health caused by a liver complaint forced his return home in 1798. He was appointed to serve first in Nottingham and then on the island of Jersey. Patterson married Jane (surname unknown) in August 1799 and immediately offered to return to the West Indies with his new bride. The couple arrived safely in Barbadoes, after enduring a sea battle with a Spanish privateer. Patterson discovered that a false report of his death has preceded him and his funeral sermon had actually been preached two weeks before.

Pattison went on to serve on several islands namely Tortola, Antigua and Barbadoes. He was also appointed to Dominica in 1804 and arrived outside the main harbour just as a French fleet came into sight. His ship managed to escape and he went on to Barbadoes where he spent the last two years of his overseas ministry.

He returned home in 1806 and served in a number of English circuits until superannuation in 1835. He retired to Cheetham Hill in Manchester where he died after a short illness on December 29 1839.

At the time of Pattison's death, his widow Jane was still alive. The couple had at least one daughter and probably three sons whose names are recorded in the Kingswood School registers as John Gilbert (born 1813 and subsequently a warehouseman in Manchester), Theophilus (born 1816 and also a warehouseman in Manchester) and Richard who became a journalist.

Source: Minutes of Conference 1840, History of Kingswood School by Three Old Boys (1898), 164, Hill's Arrangement 1838 Methodist Magazine 1842, 177-191 and International Genealogical Index.

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