Mary Bosanquet Fletcher
Mary Bosanquet has been called one of the first deaconesses in Methodism was born in Leytonstone, in Essex in 1739. She took seriously Wesley's preaching to "give all you can" using her own financial resources and her time to provide for persons in need. She became a class leader and then a preacher. In 1763, she and Sarah Ryan took charge of a large house in Leytonstone, her birthplace, which became a sanctuary for the most destitute and friendless people in London. The house became a school, orphanage, hospital, and half-way house all-in-one.
In 1781, Mary married John Fletcher, who was John Wesley's designated successor. He died in 1785. For almost 30 years after her husband's death, Mary continued her ministry. She died on December 9, 1815.
Sources: Study Guide of John Wesley: Holiness of Heart and Life by Ruth A. Daugherty, pp. 117-118 and The Illustrated History of Methodism in Great Britain, America, and Australia by W. B. Daniel (New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1884), pp. 292-295.
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The top left drawing depicts the Reverend John Wesley (1703-1791) at age 48. All of the black and white drawings have been scanned from public domain nineteenth century or early twentieth century Methodist history books. Please acknowledge this web site, John Wesley: Holiness of Heart and Life if you reproduce these. A few graphics are available in high resolution format, suitable for print media.
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