John Rattenbury Papers

Date range: 1827-1879.

John Rattenbury (1806-1879) joined the Wesleyan Methodist Society in Manchester at the age of sixteen, and began to preach three years later. He trained for the ministry under the Rev. Joseph Roberts and was appointed to his first circuit in 1828.

He was highly regarded as a minister and was an effective evangelist who was well-known for inspiring revivals such as the one that occurred during his ministry in Leeds in 1837.

He was elected President of the Conference in 1851. He withdrew from circuit work in 1873 and spent the last six years of his life raising money for the Worn out Ministers' and Ministers' Widows' Auxiliary Fund.

The collection consists of 86 letters and associated documents relating to John Rattenbury's personal life and ministry. Several of the letters contain eye-witness accounts of the proceedings of the Wesleyan Conferences of 1833, 1834, 1836 and 1839, and are particularly informative about the struggles between the supporters of Jabez Bunting and the Wesleyan reformers.

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library