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The Wesley Historical Society Welcomes You and Values Your Interest

The Wesley Historical Society was founded in 1893 for the advancement of interest in the history of all branches of the Methodist Church.

Rev John Wesley
1703 - 1791

Rev John Wesley
'I look upon the whole
world as my parish'

Rev Charles Wesley
1707 - 1788

Rev Charles Wesley
'God buries His workmen,
but carries on His work'

Wesleyan and Methodist heritage is an integral part of the history of countries worldwide and we welcome everyone who is interested in their own roots, culture and history to visit the pages in this web site.


WHS Essay Competition 2021. The Wesley Historical Society is delighted to announce its 2021 prize competition for essays on any topic involving the history of religion in the British Isles since 1700, open to Sixth Form pupils, and to undergraduate and masters students. For details click here.

Details of all of Wesley Historical Society Meetings, see Events page or click here.

The Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Cumulative Index to Volumes 51 to 60,
is now available on the Biblical Studies.org.uk website. The direct link is https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/whs/51-60-index.pdf

Do you have a query? See the "Frequently Asked Questions" on the About Us page.

FEATURE OF THE MONTH     Methodist, Manufacturer and Martyr

The subject of this month's feature is a member of my family, Harvey Adams, (1835-1916) a Methodist New Connexion potter from Stoke on Trent. He represents a model of the Victorian Methodist businessman.

         As a councillor he was involved in local politics in Longton, Stoke on Trent, a leading figure in charitable causes, long serving trustee for the 'Cathedral of the Potteries' the Bethesda Methodist New Connexion Chapel, Hanley, and a prominent advocate of teetotalism. He is best remembered though on two other counts.

Harvey Adams & Co, Moustache cup.

In the world of pottery manufacture, the creative and artistic Harvey Adams invented the moustache cup - simply by adding a shelf to protect the moustache. A major advance for the moustachioed world of Victorian England where gentleman preferred to drink tea, minus the moustache wax that would otherwise be dissolved in the drink. The first moustache cups date from 1860, and his 'original' moustache cup was proudly advertised thereafter. He was one of a group of New Connexion potters who provided the finance to support their local chapels.

         Secondly he was nationally known, and acclaimed by the Manchester Nonconformist Conference of 1872, as the 'school rate martyr of the potteries' being if not the first, one of the first to refuse to pay the school rate in 1871. He felt this school rate would simply subsidise Anglican church schools. He was charged, convicted of failure to pay,  and the bailiffs consequently seized a barometer from his house (it was said to have read 'stormy weather') to auction, and raise the money to pay his unpaid rate. The Harvey Adams and Co. potbank (factory) workers had a collection, and bought the barometer back for him.

NB People like Harvey Adams are included in the Online Dictionary of Methodism, also on this site. 


David Leese.










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