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John Wesley’s sister Anne (Nancy)

August 03, 2020

John Wesley had seven sisters who grew to adulthood. Anne, who was nicknamed “Nancy,” was just two year older than John.

She and a twin brother were born on May 17, 1791. Her twin brother died seven months later; she lived. She was in her teens when “Ol’ Jeffery,” the friendly Epworth ghost, began to act up in the parsonage. Her father thought that perhaps the ghost could be frightened away by noise, so he sent Anne into the attic to blow a horn. She was terrified, but completed the task to no avail. Another time she was sitting on her bed and it began to move. She jumped off!

She served as a governess for a time, but returned home when her mistress died. She married John Lambert, a successful land surveyor. The Wesley family went into debt to provide her a generous dowry. They had a happy marriage. John Wesley danced at their son’s baptism. He was the godfather. When having some financial problems, the Lamberts moved in with her parents. Soon, however, they moved to London. Charles Wesley visited them there an expressed some concern about John’s drinking habits. When John Wesley became ill in 1741, Anne cared for him at the Foundry. Anne was at her mother’s bedside with her sisters when their mother died. We know little more about her. It is thought that her only son, John, died as a youth.

The Rev. Dave Hanson is a retired pastor and John Wesley scholar.

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