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Beaumont, Joseph, MD
1794-1855; e.m. 1813

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WM minister, the son of John Beaumont junr., he was born at Castle Donington on 19 March 1794 and educated at Kingswood School. Rather than seek Anglican ordination, he entered the WM itinerancy, overcame an inhibiting stammer and was in demand far beyond the WM connexion as a preacher and lecturer. He was eloquent in debate and a forceful adversary of Jabez Bunting's dominance in Conference and the connexion. His political and ecclesiastical liberalism led him to plead for greater WM co-operation with both Dissent and the Established Church. Reflecting on John Wesley's equivocal churchmanship, he commented that 'Wesley, like a strong and skilful rower, looked one way, while every stroke of the oar took him in an opposite direction.' In the controversies over Wesleyan Takings and the Fly Sheets, he opposed the expulsion of James Everett and others. His wife was sister-in-law to the pioneer China missionary Robert Morrison. His precarious health made him anxious about surviving the rigours of the itinerancy and during his ministry in Edinburgh 1833-1836 took a medical degree. He used his medical knowledge to argue the physiological case against alcohol and was a founder member of the English Temperance Society. He died in the pulpit at Waltham Street chapel, Hull on 21 January 1855.

Hos brother Dr. Thomas Beaumont (1795-1859) was born at Castle Donington and educated at Kingswood School. He abandoned his legal training because, he claimed, it would mean Sunday work. Qualifying at Edinburgh and elsewhere as a doctor, he had a successful career as a surgeon at Guiseley and from 1822 at Bradford. He served as a town councillor and alderman, devoting himself to issues such as sanitary and moral reform and improvement in industrial working conditions. He also supported the temperance and anti-smoking movements.

Sources

  • Robert A. West, Sketches of Wesleyan Preachers (1849) pp.349-58
  • J. Beaumont, The Life of the Rev. Joseph Beaumont (1856)
  • Richard Wrench, A Biographical & Critical Sketch of Dr. Beaumont, the eloquent orator (1859)
  • G.J. Stevenson, Methodist Worthies (1884-86) 2 pp.295-306
  • Benjamin Gregory, Sidelights on the Conflicts of Methodism (1898), passim

Entry written by: EWD
Category: Person

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