Wesley, Martha (1706–1791)

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Wesley, Martha (1706–1791)

Sister of John and Charles Wesley . Name variations: Patty. Born in Epworth, England, in 1706; died in City Road, London, in 1791; 17th child of Samuel Wesley (a curate) and Susanna Wesley (1669–1742); married Reverend Westley Hall, in 1735; children: out of ten confinements only one child survived, a boy who died of smallpox at age 14.

Born in Epworth, England, in 1706, Martha Wesley was the 17th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley . A solemn, level-headed girl known as Patty, Martha was exceptionally close to her brother John and listened carefully to her mother's teachings. When young, she lived in London with an uncle and while there married a curate, Westley Hall, in 1735. Though Martha was pregnant ten times, only one of her children survived infancy; the boy would eventually die of smallpox at age 14. As was the case with many of her sisters, hers was a dismal marriage. Her constantly straying husband would eventually desert her, fleeing with a mistress to the West Indies. Martha remained calm and turned her attention to the Methodism of her brothers, John and Charles, while enjoying the friendship of Dr. Samuel Johnson and other literary personages in 18th-century London. Martha outlived her beloved brother John by four months and was buried in the same vault behind the City Road chapel.


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

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Wesley, Martha (1706–1791)

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