Wesley, Emilia (1692–1771)

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Wesley, Emilia (1692–1771)

Sister of John and Charles Wesley . Name variations: Emily. Born in South Ormsby, England, in 1692; died in London in 1771; third child of Samuel Wesley (acurate) and Susanna Wesley (1669–1742); married Robert Harper (a chemist).

Born in South Ormsby, England, in 1692, Emilia Wesley was the third child of Samuel Wesley, a curate, and Susanna Wesley . As the eldest girl, she was a second mother to the younger Wesleys, including John and Charles, later the founders of Methodism. She was 17 when the fire burned down their house at Ep-worth. Because of family finances, she was sent to Lincoln to teach in a private boarding school; she later opened her own school in the Lincolnshire township of Gainsborough. At 43, at her brother John's urging, Emilia married an Ep-worth apothecary by the name of Robert Harper. Sadly, the marriage was a disaster. The spend-thrift Harper quickly ran through Emilia's hard-earned savings, then deserted her and their baby for the United States. After her baby's death in 1740, Emilia moved to London to live with John Wesley in Moorfields. She died there at age 79.


Appleyard, Simon. "The Family World of the Wesleys," in This England. Winter 1984.

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Wesley, Emilia (1692–1771)

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