Coughlan, Lawrence

Coughlan, Lawrence an early Methodist preacher, was a native of Ireland, one of the first-fruits of Methodism in that country. He was received on trial by Wesley in 1755, and labored successfully for ten years, when in consequence of having been ordained in 1764 by Erasmus, a Greek bishop, he withdrew from the itinerancy, Charles Wesley taking deep umbrage at such a proceeding. In 1765 he sailed as a missionary to Newfoundland, a year before Philip Embury arrived in New York, and labored there with zeal and success under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, having received reordination from the bishop of London, but still as a Methodist. He formed classes, the first before the close of 1765, and the earliest Methodist society on the west of the Atlantic. On his return, in 1773, to London, Coughlan was minister of the Cumberland Street Chapel, but applied to Wesley for a circuit. While in conversation with the latter in his study, he was seized with paralysis, and died a few days after. Wesley refers to his death in a letter written to John Stretton, of Harbor-Grace, Newfoundland, dated February 25, 1785 (Meth. Mag. 1824, page 307). Coughlan published, in 1776, a book entitled, Brief Account of the Work of God in Newfoundland. See Atmore, Meth. Memorial, s.v.; Stevens, Hist. of Methodism, 2:329; Myles, Chronicles Hist. of the Methodists, 1785, page 169; Arminian (Wesl. Meth.) Mag. 1785, p. 490; Wilson, Newfoundland and its Missionaries, p. 123, 134, 141; Smith, Hist. of Meth. in Eastern British America (Halifax, 1877, 12mo), pages 41-58; Wesley, Journal, August 1768, 3:324; also Reports of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1767 sq.

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