The New International Encyclopædia/Wesley, Samuel

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WESLEY, Samuel (1662-1735). An English clergyman, father of John Wesley. He was born at Winterborn-Whitchurch. Dorsetshire, and educated first at Dorchester Grammar School and then at Stepney and Newington, in London, with a view to the Independent ministry. Some severe invectives having appeared against the Dissenters, he was asked to reply to them; but while doing the necessary reading he changed his opinions, and decided to conform to the Established Church. He entered Exeter College, Oxford, and graduated in 1688. He was ordained deacon almost immediately, and priest in 1690. After two curacies and a year as chaplain on board a man-of-war, he obtained the living of South Ormsby in Lincolnshire in 1690, and in 1695 that of Epworth, which is closely associated with the later history of his family, and which he held until the year before his death. He was a prolific author, especially in verse, in which he published a Life of Christ (1693), a biblical history (1704), Marlborough, or the Fate of Europe (1705); and in prose several works of a theological nature. Consult his Life by Tyerman (London, 1866).