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Mudge, Dr Henry
1806-1874

He was born at Bodmin on 29 July 1806. He completed his training as a surgeon at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London in 1829 and returned to Bodmin, where he practised medicine for the whole of his working life. He served on the town council from 1846 to 1852, before resigning on health grounds. Re-elected in 1860, he was elected mayor the following year. He was a WM class leader for many year and a local preacher until he gave this up because of his health.

For nearly 40 years, at a time when teetotalism was not widespread among the WM leaders and ministers, he led the Cornish teetotal movement which grew particularly rapidly in its early period up to 1841. He also presided over the Bodmin society that was the first, or second, temperance society in Cornwall to become teetotal in May 1837. His extensive teetotal advocacy included the writing of several pamphlets, e.g. the Farmer's Manual of Teetotalism (1841), and frequent speaking engagements that led to the formation of many teetotal societies in the county. He was critical of the Rechabites and Oddfellows, but was a founder member of the United Kingdom Alliance in 1853. He died at Bodmin on 27 June 1874.

Sources

  • M.L. Crosfill, 'Henry Mudge, Surgeon and teetotaller', in Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1996
  • Peter Hayden, 'Henry Mudge, "the People's Friend"', in Journal of the CMHA, 5:3 (1979) pp.99-109
  • J.K. Lander, 'The Early Days of Teetotalism in Cornwall', in Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 2002, pp.85-100
  • John K Lander, 'Dr Henry Mudge: an outstanding Wesleyan Methodist social reformer' in Journal of the CMHA, 10:4 (2006) pp.145-59
  • Methodist Recorder, 4 May 2006
  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: JKL
Category: Person

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