William Atherton (minister)

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William Atherton (1775–1850), was a Wesleyan minister.

Atherton was born at Lamberhead Green, near Wigan in Lancashire, in 1775. At 21 he entered the Wesleyan ministry on the Grimsby circuit, and his fresh and original style of preaching gave him a place among the most famous preachers of England in the first half of the century. He worked under the direction of the Wesleyan Conference for more than fifty years, and was chosen in 1846 the president of that assembly. After spending some years in London, Atherton became in 1849 superintendent of the Wakefield circuit and chairman of the Leeds district, a position which he held until his death on 26 September 1850, in his 74th year.

Atherton published several works, among which were a sermon on the 'Insecurity of Life,' in 1818; an abridged 'Life of Lady Maxwell,' in 1838; and an 'Address on the Character, Agencies, and Religious Effectiveness of Wesleyan Methodism,' in 1839.


 "Atherton, William (1775-1850)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.