Handwritten Letter from Charles Wesley to William Russel

By: Reverend Charles Wesley

Collection ID







London, (England)




Ink on Paper


9.25 × 7.4 in. (23.5 × 19 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

Charles Wesley (1707–1788) was an Anglican minister and poet who, along with his brother John Wesley, helped found the Methodist movement in the early 1700s. Charles is also remembered as one of the most prolific hymn writers in history, composing over 6,000 hymns over the course of 53 years. His works include some of the most famous in the English hymn tradition, such as “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” and the Christmas favorite, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Charles wrote this letter on September 13, 1783, to William Russel, a music master in Guildford, inquiring about renting a house. Another letter from Charles to Mr. Russel in 1778 suggests they were friends and knew each other’s families.

Created in 1783 by Charles Wesley, Marybore [Marylebone], London, England; Received in 1783 by Mr. William Russel, Guildford, Surrey, England.[1] Acquired by 2010 by Gene Albert (Christian Heritage Museum), Hagerstown, Maryland; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

[1] The name of the recipient, “Mr. Wm Russel,” is written on the outside of the letter, along with his location, “Guildford,” which is in Surrey, England.

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