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John Wesley’s sister Kezia (Kessy)

August 31, 2020
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS
DAVE HANSON


John Wesley’s youngest sister was born in 1709. She was six years younger than John. She was the last child born of Susanna and arrived when Susanna was 40 years old. Susanna had 19 children but only 10 reached adulthood. Mrs. Wesley began homeschooling each child when they reached the age of five. She waited that long because her first son, Samuel, did not speak until he was five. Kessy, however, began her studies earlier. The older children taught the younger children and John probably had a lot of responsibility for Kezzy’s education.

She did not learn as rapidly as the other children.

She was a carefree and independent child. She actually enjoyed Ol’ Jeffrey (the family ghost) and tried to frighten her sister Patty by coming up behind her and stamping her feet.

Her health was poor most of her life. She enjoyed reading and using snuff. Charles was appalled and thought snuff was evil. Eventually Kezzy became responsible for the care of her sick parents. She was very lonely and vulnerable when John Westley Hall arrived on the scene and made love to her. Kezzie was very beautiful and soon Hall forgot about his promise to marry her sister Martha who was in London. Eventually Hall did marry Martha, a fact that did not seem to disturb Kezzie at all.

When John Wesley returned from Georgia he made arrangements for her to live with the family of Rev. Henry Piers, Vickar of Bexley. These were the happiest years of her life. She died at the age of 32. Charles was with her when she died and stated that, full of thankfulness and love, without pain or trouble “she commended her spirit into the hand of Jesus and fell asleep.”

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

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