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Harris, Howell

Harris, Howell (1714–73). A founder of Welsh calvinistic methodism. Born at Trefecca, Talgarth, near Brecon, and educated locally, Harris hoped for Anglican ordination, but started teaching (1730). Following a conversion experience, he began studies at Oxford (1735) but soon returned home. Though an Anglican until his death, he began itinerant open-air preaching (1737) several times a day so effectively that by 1739 he had aroused much of Wales. After parting from his colleague Daniel Rowlands (1751), he founded a protestant monastery at Trefecca (1752) which soon had 120 inhabitants. Fear of French catholicism encouraged him to join the militia and gave him a chance to preach in many parts of England. He had close contacts with Selina, countess of Huntingdon, and Whitefield.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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