Reported 280 Years Ago (May 1739:) Huge crowds for Methodist preacher

The front page of the Belfast News Letter of May 11 1739 (which is May 22 in the modern calendar)
The front page of the Belfast News Letter of May 11 1739 (which is May 22 in the modern calendar)
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From the Belfast News Letter of May 11 1739 (May 22 in the modern calendar):

LONDON, May 1.

On Friday and Saturday last the Rev. Mr. Whitefield, (being deny’d the use of the pulpit at Islington) preach’d to a prodigious concourse of people, on a tombstone in the church-yard; on Sunday morning, between eight and nine o’clocl, he did the same from the Wall in the upper Moorfields; and in the Afternoon from a mount in Kennington common to above 10,000, congregated for that purpose.

May 3 The vicar of Islington and the vestry of that parish, after an agreement to chuse five on each side to take into consideration the disturbances occasioned there lately by the methodists, met yesterday morning, and unanimously resolv’d that neither of those gentlemen should be suffer’d to preach there again.

The same evening, about six o’clock, Mr. Whitefield preach’d to a great concourse of people on Kennington-common, from the same text the rev. dr. Trapp made use of last Sunday at Christ-Church, out of Eccles. Be not righteous over-much, &c. But the people waiting a long time for the preacher, dr. Rock cunningly took the advantage of his absence, and talk’d so pathetically to the multitude of the efficacy of his packets, that he disposed of the abundance of them; and it is thought the quack for the body made greater profit that afternoon, than the quack for the soul. --- For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

[George Whitefield, one of the founders of Methodism, was perhaps the best-known preacher in Britain and America of his era]


Bristol, April 28. On Wednesday se’nnight Richard Nash, Esq; brought with him from London, as a present from his royal highness the prince of Wales to the corporation of Bath, a beautiful gilt vase, richly embellish’d with the arms of his royal highness on one side, and the arms of the city on the other; and his highness’s cresh on the cover, all finely ornamented and interpreted with the fruit of the vine and its leaves.

[Richard Nash, or Beau Nash, was a society figure and master of ceremonies in Bristol]


May 1. Yesterday the right hon. Sir Robert Walpole, being recovered from his late indisposition, waited on his Majesty at St. James’s, and met with a gracious reception.

May 3. The right. hon. Sir Robert Walpole hath not been abroad since Monday, and last night he was again visited by Sir Edward Hulse, M.D.

They write from South Kingston, that Mrs. Hazard lately died there in the 100th year of her age. She had once 500 children, grandchildren, great grand children, and great grand childrens children, and left behind her now living 205.

LONDON, May 3.

On Friday last a melancholy accident happened in Petticoat-lane, where a house being much pestered with Rats, the people got some Arsenick and put it in a proper place, in order to poison them; soon after three young children in the neighbourhood, who were familiar in the family, came in, and one them, a boy about three years of age, in playing about found the poison, and taking it to be sugar eat it up (refusing to give the other two any, who earnestly requested it) the misfortune was soon discovered, and all possible care taken, but to no purpose for he died in great misery the [word missing]

TURKEY, Constantinople, March 1. Using the abode of the kan of Tartary in this city, he insisted strongly on the necessity there is for the Ottoman Porte to conclude a peace with the Christian powers, especially that of Russia.

Letters from Dilly say, that Schach Nadir, the famous Thamas Kouli Kan, had taken Candahar, Cabull, and two or three fine provinces belonging to the Mogul; that the latter was endeavouring to buy a Peace with him; and that his very name has struck him with such a pannick that there was no talk of an army’s marching to oppose him.

Saturday last lieut. col. Cockran of general Oglethorpe’s regiment arrived here from Georgia.

We hear that general Oglethorpe is gone to Charles-Town in South-Carolina.

His Majesty’s sloop Hawk, capt. Gascoin, on the Georgian is oder’d home.

Major Cook, of general Oglethorpe’s regiment is not dead, as was lately reported.

We have advice from Georgia, that there is a fresh mutiny among the soldiers and inhabitants there, so that they are all in confusion; and ‘its supposed that the Spaniards have secretly spirited them up to it, upon which the stocks have fallen two per cent. [Oglethorpe founded Georgia]

Our Cambridge letters tell us, that the wife of dr. Richardson, master of Emmanuel-College, and late vice-chancellor of that university, was last week brought to bed of two fine boys in the 50th year of her age.

Yesterday about four o’clock in the afternoon an express came to the post-office, with an account that the western mail was robb’d, by a single highwayman near Sherbourne in Dorsetshire

Yesterday the stocks fell considerably, on account, as it is said, of some advices lately received from Spain.

EDINBURGH, May I. Last week Mr. Hugh Maccalum, tide surveyor at the Ferry, seized 250 anchors of brandy, several casks of rack and gin, some bales of velvets and foreign silks, a large quantity of tobacco, &c. near Brorrostounness, from aboard the Margaret and Christen of Pittenweem, --- Donaldson master.

Last Friday died here Mrs. Janet Scot lady Middleton, mother to Mr. John Mitchelson of Middleton, advocate.