Born 9 September 1747; son of Bartholomew Coke, apothecary, of Brecon. He was educated at Christ College, Brecon, and Jesus College, Oxford; graduated B.A. in 1768 and D.C.L. in 1775. Ordained deacon in 1770 and priest in 1772, he was a curate at, first, Road, and, later, South Petherton, Som., but was removed by his rector in 1777 for his Methodist sympathies. He then joined the Methodists, and became John Wesley's chief lieutenant, superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America, and the 'father' of Methodist missions. He died at sea on 12 May 1814, while on his way to India to establish a mission there.
In 1800 he was chiefly responsible for establishing Welsh Wesleyan Methodism as a part of the missionary work of the Methodist connexion, in much the same way as preachers had been sent on his initiative to preach in Erse in Ireland in 1799. Frequent journeys through North Wales to and from Ireland had convinced him of the desirability of sending Welsh-speaking Methodist preachers to that part of Wales, and though, unknown to him, some pioneer work had already been done in certain parts of Denbighshire and Flintshire, it was his zeal and pleading which led the Methodist conference to send Owen Davies (1752 - 1830) and John Hughes (1776 - 1843) to Ruthin in August 1800.
Published date: 1959
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