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Richard Watson (1781-1833)

Richard Watson was born at Barton-on-Humber in Lincolnshire. He entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1796 but withdrew on doctrinal grounds in 1801 and joined the Methodist New Connexion in 1803. He returned to the Wesleyan Church in 1812 serving as President of Conference in 1826 and as secretary to the Wesleyan Missionary Society from 1821 to 1825. He was a leading opponent of slavery.

Watson was a gifted writer and theologian. In 1818 he wrote a reply to Dr Adam Clarke's doctrine of the Eternal Sonship which caused some dispute within the Church. In 1823 he began to publish his Theological Institutes which remained a standard for many years and in 1831 wrote a well-regarded life of John Wesley.

Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

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