Gideon Ouseley

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Gideon Ouseley
Gideon Ouseley.jpg
Gideon Ouseley in the NPG
Born February 24, 1762 (1762-02-24)
Dunmore, Galway
Died May 13, 1839 (1839-05-14) (aged 77)
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Methodist missionary in Ireland

Gideon Ouseley (February 24, 1762 – May 13, 1839)[1] was born into an Anglican gentry family in Dunmore, County Galway.


His father, although a deist, intended that his son enter the clergy,[1] but Ouseley spent much of his childhood in the cabins of peasant neighbours.[2] He was tutored with his cousins Gore and William, and all three had notable careers.[3]

Married at age 20, Ouseley led a wild life that dissipated both his own and his wife's fortunes. After losing an eye when shot in a tavern brawl, a loss that reputedly left him with a frightening appearance,[2] Ouseley left his wild ways behind him. In 1791 he was converted to Methodism by English soldiers stationed in Dunmore,[4] and he set out in turn, to convert and reform others. Ouseley preached the gospel, mostly in Ulster, until his death, preaching up to 20 sermons a week.[1] His knowledge of the Irish language and of peasant mores— not to mention his eccentric preaching astride a white horse— won him renown as Methodism's 'apostle to the Irish'.[2]


Oliver St. John Gogarty wrote two plays under the pseudonym Gideon Ouseley, 'A Serious Thing' and 'The Enchanted Trousers'.[5]

The writer John Mulvey Ousley was of a later generation of the same family.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Ouseley, Gideon". Encyclopedia Americana, Canadian Edition. 21. 1950. p. 53. 
  2. ^ a b c Cunningham, John (2004). A Town Tormented by the sea: Galway, 1790-1914. Dublin: Geography Publications. p. 252. ISBN 0-906602-32-7. 
  3. ^ R. W. Ferrier, ‘Ouseley, Sir Gore, first baronet (1770–1844)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 10 Nov 2011
  4. ^ Arthur, William (1876). The Life of Gideon Ouseley. Wesleyan Conference Office. 
  5. ^ Barger, Jorn. "Oliver St John Gogarty resources on the web". Retrieved June 10, 2007. 
  6. ^ Kelly, Richard J. (June 1910). "The Name and Familey of Ouseley". The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. 5th Series. 20 (2): 132–146. 

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