CHARLES WESLEY & His Early Life as Told by UK Historian Richard Cavendish

By Richard Cavendish | Published in History Today Volume: 57 Issue: 12 2007

Charles Wesley (1707-80)Charles Wesley (1707-80)

The man who wrote the words of ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’, ‘Jesus Lover of My Soul’, and hundreds of other much-loved hymns was the sixteenth or seventeenth of eighteen children.

He was born in the rectory at Epworth in the Isle of Axholme in Lincolnshire, to parson Samuel Wesley and his wife Susanna. Born prematurely and seeming more dead than alive, the new baby was wrapped in wool for several weeks until he opened his eyes and cried. In 1709, when he was fourteen months old, the family almost burned to death when the rectory caught fire. Later there was a curious episode when the house was apparently haunted by a ghost which made dismal groaning noises and sounds of stamping about. Susanna Wesley, who never stood any nonsense, set out to drive it away by blowing a trumpet whenever the ghost ventured to make noises. After three months, it admitted defeat and departed, but the three Wesley brothers – Samuel, John and Charles – were fascinated by the haunting all their lives…

Read more at … http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/birth-charles-wesley