Bourne, Hugh

Bourne, Hugh founder of the "Primitive Methodist Connection," was born April 3d, 1772, in Staffordshire, England. He was brought up a Wesleyan Methodist, and became an active and zealous preacher. When about thirty years of age he associated himself with William Clowes and some other preachers of the Wesleyan body in reviving open-air religious services and camp-meetings. These proceedings, although common enough in the early days of Methodism, and found very useful in America, were discountenanced by the Conference, which in 1807 passed a resolution to the following effect: " It is our judgment that, even supposing such meetings (camp-meetings) to be allowed in America, they are highly improper in England, and likely to be productive of considerable mischief, and we disclaim all connection with them." This led to Mr. Bourne's separation from the Conference, and the establishment of the Primitive Methodist Connection, the first class of which was formed at Standley, Staffordshire, in 1810. The difference between the Primitive Methodists and the Wesleyan Methodists consists chiefly in the free admission of laymen to the Conference of the former body. SEE METHODISTS, PRIMITIVE. In 1844 Mr. Bourne visited the United States of America, where his preaching attracted large congregations. From his youth he was a rigid abstainer from intoxicating drinks, in which respect many of the preachers and members of the Primitive Methodist Connection have followed his example. He died at Bemersley, in Staffordshire, October 11, 1852.

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