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William Morley Punshon (1824-81)

William Morley Punshon was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, the son of a draper. He was converted by the Methodist minister Samuel Romilly Hall and entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1844 after receiving training under his uncle the missionary Benjamin Clough and spending a short period at Richmond Theological Institute. In the 1850s Punshon established a high reputation as a public speaker with lectures that were largely based around the idea of nineteenth century progress.

Between 1862 and 1867, Punshon raised £10,000 by lecturing and was able to build a series of chapels in seaside towns. He was one of the founders of the Methodist Recorder and in 1868 was appointed British representative to the Canadian Conference. On his return to England, Punshon was elected President in 1874. He was subsequently head of the Home Mission department and a secretary of the Foreign Mission Society. In the late 1870s, Punshon was one of the main advocates of admitting lay representatives to the Conference.

He died at Brixton Hill in London.

Source: Minutes of Conference 1881 and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

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