Atherton, William an English Wesleyan minister, was born at Lamberhead-Green, Lancashire, in 1775. He entered the ministry in 1797, and occupied some of the most important charges, such as Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Durham, Liverpool, Bath, London, etc.; was elected president of the conference in 1846, and was actively engaged in the ministry until within a fortnight of his death, which took place after a most painful illness, Sept. 26, 1850. Mr. Atherton had a clear, vigorous intellect, and an independence of thought and purpose, together with an ability on pulpit and platform which made his influence widely felt throughout the Methodist Connection in England. He wrote a Life of Lady Maxwell, with an Introduction by Rev. J. Gilchrist Wilson (Lond. 8vo). Atherton is the subject of one of Everett's powerful and beautifully written literary portraits-not greatly to the advantage of the former-in-' the Wesleyan Centenary Takings (3d ed. Lond. 1841), No. VII, i, 147-171. "But," says the artist, " take him as a whole, rather than in detail, and we have at once a rarity-a man of much more exalted powers than many who. are more generally held in request; a man under whose lash vice, in every discourse, is made to writhe, and error is compelled to shelter itself hi darkness," etc. (p. 170). He published also an Address on Wesleyan Methodism (1839). See Minutes of the British Conference, 1851, p. 562; also Hill, Alphabetical Arrangement of the Wesleyan Ministers (Lond. 1847).