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Persistent preachers, 1807–1907
Author: Jennifer Lloyd

A response to the prominent Methodist historian David Hempton's call to analyse women's experience within Methodism, this book deals with British Methodist women preachers over the entire nineteenth century, with special emphasis on the Primitive Methodists and Bible Christians. The book covers women preachers in Wesley's lifetime, the reason why some Methodist sects allowed women to preach and others did not, and the experience of Bible Christian and Primitive Methodist female evangelists before 1850. It also describes the many other ways in which women supported their chapel communities. The second half of the book includes the careers of mid-century women revivalists, the opportunities, home and foreign missions offered for female evangelism, the emergence of deaconess evangelists and Sisters of the People in late century, and the brief revival of female itinerancy among the Bible Christians.

Abstract only
Jennifer Lloyd

historical record. This is not a history of progress, but, like much of women’s history, of doors opening and closing according to men’s needs and concerns. At the end of the century the main differences between a Primitive Methodist female evangelist in 1820 and one in 1900 were that the latter had more education, and was more likely to come from the lower rungs of the middle class. They were still subordinate to male authority, had very little influence on denominational government, and, like women everywhere, earned less than men for similar work. As Judith M. Bennett

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Jennifer Lloyd

, securing the appointment of two female evangelists to preach on rural circuits. She also attended the Women’s Suffrage League annual meeting, where she was appointed to the League’s committee.15 By 1894, when the South Australian Woman Suffrage Bill passed the legislature, the Lakes were in the Cornish mining community of Moonta, which had a strong reputation for female activism; the couple (Octavius was also a strong suffrage supporter) would have rejoiced with the local women. Eight years later Serena died of breast cancer. She stipulated no ‘crape or signs of mourning

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Jennifer Lloyd

have been local preaching with her superintendent’s permission or joining one of the sects that allowed women to preach more freely, but opportunities for women to make preaching a career contracted in Methodist sects after 1860, and revivals in the late nineteenth century offered fewer spaces for female evangelists. However, by the 1880s a new choice had opened up for adventurous women: missionary work had now become an acceptable female profession. Indeed, building on common stereotypes, propagandists sometimes argued that women’s presumed patience and aptitude for

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Jennifer Lloyd

philanthropists preachers’ place and inlocal a divided preachers methodism servant to help with the work involved in maintaining a household that usually contained at least nine people. Thus the period between 1840 and 1860 was a time of transition for women who wanted to profess their beliefs publicly. With their access to the pulpit limited or denied, they found ways to contribute to their religious communities that were no less essential than the work of female evangelists in the formative years of some Methodist sects. By mid-century domestic ideology, promoting the home as

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Jennifer Lloyd

central missions. Sixtytwo were working in circuits, mostly doing missionary work, eleven in foreign missions in South Africa, Ceylon, and New Zealand, five working for the order, two engaged in ‘evangelistic work,’ another two running the Rest and Convalescent Home, and one working with the army and navy, with the rest in hospital training or temporarily retired.49 Public religious work as deaconesses and Sisters allowed some women opportunities to preach with official sanction, although female evangelists caused unease in some denominations. The majority of

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Jennifer Lloyd

against women preaching, and Jabez Bunting once described women’s claim to an extraordinary call as ‘every fanatic’s plea.’23 Where superintendents were hostile, female evangelists were silenced, causing some to join sects where their talents were welcome.24 Zechariah Taft still hoped to keep some of them within Wesleyanism. He came to their defense twice more in the 1820s, although his support was more muted than the whole-hearted defense of women preaching in his 1802 publication. In 1820 he published The Scripture Doctrine of Women’s Preaching: Stated and Examined

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Jennifer Lloyd

subjects know little about either the evil of sin or the object of justifying faith … Many are … with the foremost of those who want to new model Methodism. The most of those persons are violent republicans.’25 Cutler was soon replaced by an even more controversial figure. In 1794 Mary Barritt, ‘unquestionably the most famous female evangelist of the early nineteenth century,’ arrived in Yorkshire. She had begun preaching in her native Lancashire, and despite strong opposition from her local itinerant, her success in gaining converts had attracted the attention and

in Women and the shaping of British Methodism
Zenana encounters in nineteenth-century Bengal
Indrani Sen

the purdah; to try and convert zenana women to Christianity; and to attempt to bring about a cultural transformation among zenana women and recast them along the lines of an exemplary female paradigm based on a western model. The colonial missionary novel which appears to have been written by a few female evangelists, was specifically addressed to ‘native’ females and employed

in Gendered transactions
Abstract only
Indrani Sen

. 46 Reform measures thereafter assumed the form of gradual change – especially through female education and the gradual eradication of purdah. For this purpose, there was a widespread induction of white women into the reform agenda. The vast majority involved in reform activities in the second half of the nineteenth century – notably female education – were female evangelists. As noted earlier

in Gendered transactions