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Urlin, R. Denny

The Urlins were closely connected with the Foundery and then with Wesley’s Chapel from the earliest days, beginning with George Urlin (1733-1802), a wholesale meat merchant in Leadenhall Market, who was chosen by Wesley as one of the first trustees of the chapel. For some years he was the Chapel Steward, living in the house adjoining it to the north. Wesley dined with him just two weeks before his death, on 18 February 1791. His son George Orton Urlin (c.1769-1808) and grandson George Frederic Urlin (d. 17 October 1870) also served as trustees of the chapel.

George Frederic Orton married a daughter of Richard Reece so that their son R. Denny Urlin came of strong Methodist stock on both sides of his family. He wrote a biography of his maternal grandfather, Father Reece, the old Methodist minister (1899). He practised as a barrister in both London and Dublin. Though brought up as a Wesleyan, he was confirmed at an early age and became a staunchly loyal Anglican, as his books on Wesley, John Wesley’s Place in Church History (1870) and The Churchman’s Life of Wesley (1880), demonstrate.. But it is recorded that, on a visit to Methodist relations near Tunbridge Wells towards the end of his life, he enjoyed joining in the Methodist hymns he had known in his youth.


'I am more than ever convinced that those who separate from the Church of England do so from ignorance, prejudice, or envy, or else because they have not fully and imparttially considered the subject, or hold mistaken views concerning it… That it was never the intention of the Rev. John Wesley to establish a separate sect; that the principles of modern Wesleyan Methodism are altogether at variance with the avowed feelings and determination of its Founder - also that certain of the Wesleyan doctrines are contrary to the Scriptures and of the Church of England, and that for this reason … every Wesleyan is positively bound in duty [to join the Church of England]'

R. Denny Urlin, soon after his confirmation, quoted in Ethel L.H. Urlin, Memorials of the Urlin Family, p.31


  • George J. Stevanson, City Road Chapel [1872] pp.393-6
  • Ethel L.H. Urlin, Memorials of the Urlin Family (privately published, 1909)

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