Moore, Henry (1751-1844) (DNB00)
MOORE, HENRY (1751–1844), Wesleyan minister and biographer, only surviving son of Richard Moore (d. 1763, aged 46), a farmer and grazier, was born at Drumcondra, a suburb of Dublin, on 21 Dec. 1751. Having received a good education under Williamson, a clergyman at St. Paul's, Oxmantown, he was apprenticed to a wood-carver. This calling he followed in London in 1771 and 1773-6. When very young lie had heard John Wesley preach in Dublin, but was disappointed at finding him no orator. He nevertheless frequented methodist services, and dates his conversion in February 1777, soon after which he was admitted a member of the methodist society in Dublin. He began to preach, gave up his handicraft, and started a classical school, which promised well. Fearing that success would make him worldly, he left Dublin for Liverpool, where he received an appointment (May 1779) as itinerant preacher in the Londonderry circuit. Here he acquired the friendship of Alexander Knox [q. v.], whose parents were methodists. After fulfilling other Irish appointments he was sent to London, and acted (1784-6) as John Wesley's assistant, travelling companion, and amanuensis. His knowledge of French, which Wesley 'had very much forgotten,' made him especially useful. He was next stationed in Dublin, where, on the advice of a physician, he began to study medicine, but soon abandoned it as incompatible with his preaching engagements. In 1783-90 he was again in the closest association with Wesley. He could hold his own on occasion against Wesley, who said, 'No man in England has contradicted me so much as you have done, and yet, Henry, I love you still.' He had resisted the suggestion of Charles Wesley that he should take Anglican orders, but on 27 Feb. 1789 he was ordained a presbyter by John Wesley, with the concurrence of James Creighton and Peard Dickenson, both Anglican clergymen. At the time of Wesley's last illness he was stationed at Bristol, but came up to London the day before Wesley's death (2 March 1791), and was with him at the last.
By his last will (dated 5 Oct. 1789) Wesley had made Moore one of his literary executors, in conjunction with Thomas Coke, D.C.L. [q. v.], and John Whitehead, M.D., and had named him as one of twelve preachers (four of them Anglican clergymen) who during their lives were to regulate the services at City Road Chapel in independence of the conference. Both these charges brought much anxiety and trouble to Moore.
It was agreed by the executors that a life of Wesley should be brought out, after the appearance of memoirs announced by John Hampson [q. v.], and published in June 1791. Whitehead was to write the life, and was entrusted with all Wesley's papers. He declined to obey an order of the conference directing the executors to sift the papers. The dispute led to the issue (1792), 8vo, under the authority of conference, of a life by Coke and Moore, chiefly written by
Moore, and without access to the papers. Whitehead's life was issued in 1793-6. Ultimately Moore obtained access to the bulk of the papers, some having been destroyed (1797) by John Pawson as ' worthless lumber ; ' he accordingly brought out a new life of Wesley in 1824-5. This is a work of the first importance; though written with reverence, it displays intimate and discriminating knowledge. A large number of Wesley's papers, including his original memorandum books, some of them in Byrom's shorthand, passed on Moore's death to his executor, William Gandy (d. 28 Aug. 1882); they are now in the possession of J. J. Colman, esq., M.P.
Moore, although he had independent power (ultimately sole power) of appointment to City Road Chapel, was throughout life loyal to the principle of the authority of the conference (of which he was president in 1804 and 1823), even when differing from the conference policy. He was a man of no ambition, and refused every engagement which could interfere with his work as a 'travelling preacher.' Thus he declined (1789) the editorship of the 'Arminian Magazine.' He remained in the active duties of the itinerant ministry till his eighty-third year, when he became (1833) a supernumerary preacher. Of Wesley's methods he was extremely conservative. He strongly opposed (1834) the establishment of a theological institution for the training of ministers, and on the formation of the 'centenary fund' (1839) he ex- pressed his objections to the acquirement of funded property by the methodist body. He had opposed Coke's Lichfield scheme (1794) for the creation of a methodist hierarchy, thinking the desire should have first been expressed by the conference ; but when (1837) the conference itself resolved to ordain ministers by imposition of hands, he remonstrated on the irregularity, regarding himself as the only surviving person to whom Wesley had committed a power of ordination.
Personally he was a man of deep and even mystical piety, and to extreme old age exhibited a characteristic example of the devout simplicity of early methodism . He had good conversational powers and some humour. From 1832 his right side was more or less disabled by paralytic attacks. He died at his residence, Brunswick Place, City Road, on 27 April 1844, and was buried in the ground attached to City Road Chapel. He married, first, in 1779, Anne Young (b. 1756, d. 26 March 1813) of Coleraine ; secondly, in August 1814, Miss Hind (d. 18 Aug. 1834), but had no issue by either marriage.
He published: 1. 'The Life of the Rev. John Wesley,' 1792, 8vo. 2. 'A Reply to . . . Considerations on a Separation of the Methodists from the Established Church,' 1794, 8vo. 3. 'Thoughts on the Eternal Sonship,' 1816, 8vo (in reply to Adam Clarke [q. v.]) 4. 'The Life of Mrs. Mary Fletcher . . . of Madeley,' 1817, 12mo, 2 vols. 5. 'The Life of the Rev. John Wesley . . . including the Life of his Brother . . . Charles . . . and Memoirs of their Family,' 1824-5, 8vo, 2 vols. 6. 'Sermons,' 1830, 12mo (with autobiography to 1791, and portrait).
[Life, by Mrs. Richard Smith, 1844 (with autobiography); private information.]