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‘Alexander Knox and the Methodists’, Spring Lecture, 2015

‘Alexander Knox and the Methodists’, Spring Lecture, 2015

'Alexander Knox and the Methodists', Spring Lecture, 2015


7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Litton Hall, Wesley House, Leeson Park, Dublin
Wesley House, Leeson Park, Dublin

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Alexander Knox

Alexander Knox

‘Alexander Knox and his significance to the study of John Wesley and early Methodism’

Lecturer: Dr David John William McCready

Alexander Knox (1757-1831), an Anglican lay-theologian and sometime politician, was born in Derry where his parents became important members of the Methodist Society. When he was only twelve his father died and the figure of John Wesley assumed a growing importance in shaping Knox’s life and his understanding of Christian faith.

Even though he later emphasised his independence from Methodism, moving towards Anglo-Catholicism he remained supportive of Methodism and its evangelical emphasis on individual and spiritual salvation.

In the 1790s Knox briefly entered political life becoming secretary to Lord Castlereagh and was instrumental in ensuring the safe passage of Methodists to and from their Dublin Conference at the height of the 1798 Rebellion. The pioneer of Methodist missions, Thomas Coke, called him, ‘my most intimate Friend of all the Laity perhaps in Europe or the World’.

He died in Dublin and is commemorated in the east window of St Ann’s, Dawson Street.

Dr David McCready was born in Belfast and holds an MA in Irish History from Queen’s, where his dissertation on ‘The Ordination of Women in the Church of Ireland’ was awarded the Todd History Prize. In  2013 he was awarded a PhD from Trinity College Dublin for his thesis on Alexander Knox.

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