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28 October 2014

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You are in: Bristol > History > Historic Figures > Happy birthday Charles Wesley!

Happy birthday Charles Wesley!

Many of you could be singing along to Christmas classic Hark The Herald Angels Sing this Christmas, but did you know the song was written by Charles Wesley who lived in Bristol and was a founder of the Methodist movement?

Charles Wesley (Copyright Wikimedia Commons)

Charles, who celebrates his 300th birthday in December, was as instrumental in spreading Methodism as his brother, John Wesley.

Most of this was done through his prolific song writing - Charles penned more than 6,000 songs including the famous Christmas carol.

Charles lived in Bristol after his marriage to Sarah Gwynne (known as Sally) in 1749.

Even though there was a large age gap, the couple remained devoted and in love with each other throughout their marriage.

They had eight children, only three of whom survived. Charles' two sons went on to become talented musicians and composers in their own right.

The musical director of the New Room, Phillip Carter, told the BBC that Charles lived in Bristol for more than two decades.

"He lived continuously in Bristol from 1748 until 1771. But, he came here many, many times after right up to just before his death," he said.

You can find out more about Charles Wesley's life by clicking on the audio and video below:

You can find out more about his life by reading this feature from BBC Faith:

last updated: 11/03/2008 at 11:37
created: 17/12/2007

You are in: Bristol > History > Historic Figures > Happy birthday Charles Wesley!

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