Rev James Hedges


James Hedges was born in Timsbury, Somerset in 1818, the son of James Hedges, a farmer and his wife Elizabeth. James was baptised in St Mary’s Church, Timsbury on 26 July 1818.

It was aged 16 that James ‘was deeply convinced of sin under a sermon preached by Rev GB Macdonald’, before ‘he obtained a clear and abiding sense of the Divine favour. Under a solemn conviction “woe to me, if I preach not the Gospel”, he began to call sinners to repentance.’ Hedges spent 3 years training in the Wesleyan Theological Institution at Abney House from 1839, entering the ministry in 1841. He entered into full connexion in 1844.

James Hedges’ Conference obituary describes his ‘pulpit talents’ as being of ‘a superior order’, whilst describing his sermons as being ‘the result of intense application, and were delivered in a manner in which dignified simplicity, melting tenderness, awful terror and force of appeal were happily combined’. The Bedfordshire Mercury in its edition of 3 November 1849 said that the impression of Hedges was of a minister with a gentlemanly, open and affectionate manner in his intercourse with the people.

James contracted typhus fever and died on 31 October 1849.


The Circuits James Hedges served in were:

1842-45 Abergavenny

1845 St Neots

1846-49 Dunstable

1849 Bedford

 References and Sources

Index of Methodist Ministers

Dissenting Academies online

Bedfordshire Mercury 3 November 1849

Minutes of Wesleyan  Conferences


Photograph of memorial in St Paul’s Methodist Church demolished 1969 may be viewed at

The Dunstable Methodist Circuit One hundred and fifty years of witness 1843-1993 – Colin Bourne

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