BEAUMONT, JAMES (died 1750), early C.M. exhorter

Name: James Beaumont
Date of death: 1750
Gender: Male
Occupation: early C.M. exhorter
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

A Radnorshire man, known to us only during the last ten years of his life. He was a member of the Independent congregation at Gore (near Old Radnor), but became attracted by Howel Harris, and began preaching. We find him in 1741 at Dilwyn (Herefordshire), preaching under the aegis of a Mrs. Marlow who lived there; and in 1741-4 he extended his activities to Leominster. At the Watford Methodist Association of January 1743 he was officially recognized as ' Public [i.e. itinerant] Exhorter,' and a little later he was superintendent of the Radnorshire Methodist Societies, under Harris; a correspondent writing to Harris in 1744 describes the brutal treatment meted out to Beaumont by the mob - it was rumoured that he was fatally stoned.

A letter from Beaumont to Harris in April 1745 (no. 1310 in the official inventory) reveals theological differences between them; and by December 1748 (Trevecka letter 1836) it would seem that Beaumont had not only veered into Antinomianism but was preaching other heterodox doctrines, in association with his disciple Thomas Sheen - these fluctuations of opinion were characteristic of the confusion which led to the Methodist cleavage of 1750-62. But Beaumont, like his old leader Harris, was also attracted to Moravianism. In 1750, he went down to Pembrokeshire 'for his health,' according to a Moravian record, and preached there. He died at Haverfordwest, 22 June 1750, and was buried at Prendergast. There was Moravian preaching at the Gore from 1751 on, and there were Radnorshire members of the Leominster Moravian congregation.


Published date: 1959

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