Friday, 13 January 2017

John Wesley's journey across Cornwall

Working on this drawing of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. I have been wanting to make a drawing of him for about a year but I needed to study some of his experiences in Cornwall and in particular the several visits he made to Liskeard- the town I live in. The main elements are the guiding angel, his faithful horse, moorland,  and in the bottom left of picture is a symbolic chrysalis representing a new way of life placed in the heart of the people he shared his message with.
Quote from John Allen's book " The History Of The Borough Of Liskeard" John Wesley who travelled through the county on thirty-one occasions between 1743 and 1789, visited Liskeard six times. In his Journal, under date September 1751, he says, "I preached at St, Cleer in the afternoon, about two miles from Liskeard, and next morning a mile nearer the town." A society had been formed in Liskeard by 1757. On September 27th, he wrote "We rode to Liskeard, I think one of the pleasantest towns in Cornwall. I preached about the middle of the town, in a broad, convenient place (probably at the Bull Post on what is now the Parade). No person made any noise at all. At six in the morning, I had nearly the same congregation." Wesley visited Liskeard on five subsequent occasions-in 1760, in 1765, in 1775, in 1785, and finally in 1787, when he wrote "I did not design to preach at Liskeard, but finding a few people gathered together, I gave them a short discourse" -again on the Parade. Most significant was his visit on September 7th, 1775, when he preached in the Town Hall, "to a large and serious congregation," and when he died in March 1791, a funeral sermon in remembrance of him was also preached in the Town Hall. Evidently Methodism was becoming a movement to be reckoned with in Liskeard.