Room 12 Object Highlights

A locket of John Wesley's hair

John refused to waste money on fashionable wigs.

In an age obsessed with fashion and gaining wealth and property, John Wesley voiced the needs of the disadvantaged. He hated the huge gap between rich and poor. He rejected the concept that people should view their property as ‘theirs’ and waste money on fashion and other needless things when so many people were starving and deprived of decent clothing or a place to live. As far as he was concerned, everything belonged to God and was intended for the benefit of everyone. A person’s wealth was therefore best spent in helping others: ‘Be ye ready to distribute to everyone according to his necessity’.

Charles Wesley echoed that, saying that true wisdom lay in knowing how best to spend what you had earned: ‘Wisdom to silver we prefer and gold is dross compared to her’.

The museum visit concludes with a list of John Wesley's principles in the 18th century and asks the question - a political manifesto for today? Click here to find out more...

Contemporary Issues