by Edward Malnick, The Telegraph:
As a founding father of Methodism Charles Wesley's home life might have been
expected to have been frugal.
But newly-published letters show that his wife Sally was a spendthrift whose
extravagance was effectively subsidised by the Methodist Church.
Researchers have spent a decade deciphering 700 letters by the preacher and
composer of hymns. They were written over six decades, from 1727 until his death
in 1788, many of them in his complex personal shorthand.
The academics found that Sally Wesley's spending habits were not just a source
of tension between the couple, but also between Charles and his brother John,
with whom he co-founded the Methodist Church.
According to the letters, published in The Letters of Charles Wesley: A
Critical Edition, John reluctantly agreed that Charles could keep a
proportion of the Church’s income from the sales of thousands of hymn books.
Dr Lloyd said: "Charles Wesley effectively married above himself. His wife came
from a wealthy Welsh family and his future father-in-law was a sheriff of the
county and a large landowner."
In one letter to his daughter Sally in August 1787, Charles suggested money was
"a difficulty that never comes into your mother’s head".
The entire article can be read here.
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