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Captain Thomas Webb (c.1726-96)

Captain Thomas Webb was possibly born in Bristol although details of his early life are obscure. He enlisted in the British army in 1745 and in 1754 was commissioned for service in North America. He saw action under General Wolfe, was wounded and lost an eye.

Webb settled in New York where he was appointed barrack master at Albany. During a visit to England in 1765 he was converted under Moravian influence and later joined the Methodists.

On his return to North America, Webb became very active in Methodist affairs. He took a leading part in the building of the first John Street Chapel in 1768 and conducted preaching tours that introduced Methodism to parts of New York State, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. He also helped to establish the society at St George's Chapel in Philadelphia.

Detained during the Revolutionary War for loyalist sympathies, he returned to England in 1778 and settled in Bristol where he played a key role in the founding of Portland Chapel.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860 edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)

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