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John Wesley Armchair

Date made: c.1700

Description: Chair - Panel back - one panel Castle Rushen Castletown. This chair adopts the turnings and leg stretcher configuration of back stools from the North-West region of England, circa 1700. The back is unusually plain for a chair of this social significance. The gouge-carved eponymous 'Braganza' front feet are a fashionable design feature used in the late 17th century.

The chair itself has often been referred to by historians of Manx Methodism as the ‘Castle Rushen Wesley Chair’, having been on display at the Castle for many years after it was acquired by the Museum. It is cited as being one of the more famous Manx Wesleyan relics. We know that John Wesley visited the Island on two separate occasions, in May 1777 and in June 1781. We also know that John Wesley was of diminutive stature and was famed for having to perch on a chair or platform when preaching to large crowds. This chair, it is recorded, was the very chair he perched on when preaching at 6:00pm on 31st May 1777 to a large crowd in Castletown. John Wesley recalls the episode in his own journal stating ‘.…I began preaching, I believe to all the inhabitants of the town. Two or three gay young women showed they knew nothing about religion; all the rest were deeply serious’.

Measurements: overall: 110 x 60 x 52 cm

Materials: Oak, Wood

Object name: chair

Collection: Furniture Collection

ID Number: R-0138

Subject tags : #MM100


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