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William Thompson (1733-99)

William Thompson was born at Newtownbutler in Ireland. He was converted in early life and entered the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1757. During his early ministry in Dublin, he endured persecution including imprisonment and the impressment of several of his hearers into the Royal Navy. Much of his subsequent ministry was spent in Scotland and Northern England.

Thompson's knowledge of church government and his contribution to the Halifax Circular of 1791 probably secured his election as the first president of Conference after John Wesley's death.

Thompson was closely involved with the sacramental controversy of the early 1790s and played a leading role in the drafting of the Plan of Pacification of 1795.

After his presidential year, he served as Chairman of the Birmingham District where he died.

Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)

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