Wednesday, January 30, 2013

John Wesley knew my Cornish ancestors

After researching my family history for about thirty years I have not found any ancestors who could be described as famous - although some are rather infamous! It was therefore pleasing to find that two of my Cornish ancestors knew a famous person, John Wesley, who, with his brother Charles and others, founded the Methodist movement.

John Wesley

My ancestors, John and Alice Daniel, lived at the village of Rosemergy in the parish of Morvah in Cornwall. They leased a small farm and John also did some tin mining.

On Tuesday 9 September 1766 John Wesley recorded in his journal:

In riding to St Ives I called on one with whom I used to lodge two or three and twenty years ago, Alice Daniel, at Rosemergy. Her sons are all gone from her, and she has but one daughter left, who is always ill. Her husband is dead; and she can no longer read her Bible, for she is stone-blind. Yet she murmurs at nothing, but cheerfully waits until her appointed time has come. How many of these jewels may lie hid, up and down, forgotten of men, but precious in the sight of God!

In a footnote in the published journal the transcriber adds: "The room which Wesley occupied in her house was called 'Mr Wesley's room'. For a considerable period it was preserved intact, with the furniture as he left it."

Two years later, on Friday 2 September 1768, Wesley wrote:

I preached at noon to an earnest company at Zennor, and in the evening to a far larger at St Just. Here being informed that one of our sisters in the next parish, Morvah, who entertained the preachers formerly, was now decrepit, and had not heard a sermon in many years, I went on Saturday the 3rd, at noon, to Alice Daniel's and preached near the house on 'They who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, are equal unto angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.' I have always thought that there is something venerable in persons worn out with age;  especially when they retain their understanding and walk in the ways of God.

Alice Daniel died six months later, in March 1769. I'm sure John Wesley's words must have been a comfort to her as her life came to an end. Her husband, John, had died twenty years earlier.

1 comment:

Boobook said...

I enjoyed reading this blog Allen. Now I'll go and have a look at some of your archives.

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