William Palmer 1757-1819

One of Mr Wesley's Preachers

By Les Button

William Palmer was commissioned as one of John Wesley's travelling preachers in 1783. His home was Acle, Norfolk and his first posting was Norwich in 1784. He then moved for over 30 years as follows;

1785 Lynn

1787 Redruth

1788 Pembroke

1790 Worcestershire  

1791  Coventry 

1792 London 

1793 Canterbury 

1794 Plymouth

1795 Jersey

1796 Guernsey

1797 Jersey 

1798 Bath

1799 Stroud 

1800 Worcester 

1801 Oldham 

1802 Burslem 

1803 Stourport 

1804 Grantham

1805 York 

1806 Hull

1807 Leeds

1809 Ashby de la Zouch

1811 Rochester[Supy] 

1812 Portsmouth 

1813 Deptford

1815 Deptford[Supy]

1817-1819 Rochester[Supy]


William died in Rochester in 1819 and was buried at Bethel Church Cemetery.

Does anyone know of any reference to William in any local or Methodist history?


I am descendant of Philip Palmer, William's brother.

This page was added by Les Button on 25/03/2013.
Comments about this page

Dear Les. Great to hear from you. I have a mention of him in my John Wesley's Preachers, published Paternoster 2009. However I have got references to him coming from Devonport, then called Plymouth Dock.

This is what I have for him:

"Converted at the age of 18(2). Joined Jeremiah Whitfield's class at Plymouth Dock(1).

Entered the ministry 1784(2).

Neglected Pembroke Circuit 1788-90, reporting decline each year. JW wrote "Vilely neglected" and "I shall trust him no more"(3).

In 1791 he went to Warrington(CJ), not Coventry(Minutes).

Chairman of the District in the Channel Islands 1795-8(5).

Returned with Coke December 1798 to Channel Islands as a preacher acceptable to both the Methodists and the island government to try to win a compromise over the militia question(5).

1810 Supernumerary in Ashby de la Zouche where he had been in circuit the year before.

1811 superannuated at Rochester, but resumed the itinerancy 1812(4). Retired 1815 as Supernumerary due to bursting a blood vessel(2).

1815 Deptford.

1817 Rochester(4).

Apart from Pembroke and Lynn, the latter on JW's express instructions, and circuits where he was a supernumerary, he rarely stayed in any circuit longer than one year.

Was he the editor for the Book Room of Charles Wesley's sermons in 1816(6)?

As a Supernumerary close to London in 1814-6 he is possibly the "WP" whose initials appear on all the Mss which were published then.

Partial paralysis (left side) 31st December 1817(2).

He died at Rochester.

Sources as follows: Methodist Magazine 1816;55(1), 1820;695(2), Wesleyan MM 1837;11(3), PWHS 15;66-7(3),33;146,38;63,40;47(4), Mss Letters 1785-1803 MAM PLP 81.14.1-2, Lelievre (1885) 384(5), Bulletin of the JRULM 76;2;216 PLP 28/4/14(5), Newport (2001) 78 and n(6), JWW 23;379n,24;106n. Copy letter to Jas Rogers 23/2/1803 at Duke(Baker Coll Box 2) , MA 9774 12.

email me if you want more details.

As you see its the Methodist magazine ref for 1816 which has the Plymouth mention. He still could have been born in Acle I suppose.

By John Lenton
On 05/08/2013

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