Welcome to Charles Wesley’s House, 4 Charles Street, Bristol

The Musical Wesley Brothers

Charles and Sally’s two sons, Charles jr. and Samuel, were both talented musicians. From an early age they showed an outstanding musical ability. The famous eighteenth century composer William Boyce famously dubbed Samuel as “the English Mozart”. Charles jr. was already nine years old when his younger brother was born. From a young age Samuel started joining his brother in music making: while Charles was playing the harpsichord, Samuel would stand by his side, scraping and beating time on his toy violin. In addition to music making, both boys followed pursuits common among youngsters in the eighteenth century: they kept pets, experimented with fireworks, flew kites, and played cricket. These two portraits were painted after the Wesley family had left Bristol to live in London. These two portraits were painted by John Russell (1745 – 1806). Russell had strong links to the Methodist movement: at the age of 19 he converted to Methodism and also painted John Wesley and Charles Wesley sr. and Charles’ wife, Sally. He was a prominent eighteenth century portrait artist and was much in demand as a painter around the country.

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