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Downes, John

From Horsley, Northumberland, he was one of John Wesley's first lay preachers and one of those invited to attend the fourth Conference in 1747. He had been pressed as a soldier and imprisoned, described by Tyerman as 'one of Wesley's untaught itinerants'. His mathematical and mechanical gifts caused Wesley to declare him to be 'as great a genius as Sir Isaac Newton'. He was also artistically gifted and engraved a portrait of Wesley as the frontispiece to his Explanatory Notes. He married Dorothy Furly, sister of the Rev. Samuel Furly and one of John Wesley's frequent correspondents. When he ceased to travel because of failing health, he became Wesley's printer.


  • Charles Atmore, Methodist Memorial (1801) p.109

Entry written by: WL
Category: Person

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