Charles Wesley’s Manuscript Verse
Scholarly study of Charles Wesley has been hampered by uneven access to the significant body of verse that he left in manuscript at his death, most of which is still extant. This body of verse includes both manuscript precursors to many items in Wesley’s published collections and over 4,420 distinct new hymns and poems that remained unpublished at his death.
George Osborn included portions of this material in his 13-volume collection of The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley (1868-72). But Osborn did not distinguish between published and manuscript items, which is one of the features of his collection that restricts its adequacy as a standard source.
More recently, S T Kimbrough Jr. and Oliver A. Beckerlegge published a 3-volume collection of Unpublished Poetry of Charles Wesley (1988-92), which dramatically increased scholarly access to Wesley's manuscript verse. While very helpful, as the title indicates, this collection does not include surviving manuscript drafts for hymns that Charles Wesley published during his lifetime and reproduces manuscript items in Osborn’s collection only if his version is incomplete.
The present online collection of the poetical works of John and Charles Wesley is committed to providing as broad and convenient of access as possible for scholarly study and citation. This subsection of the collection contributes to that goal by presenting all of the known surviving manuscript verse of Charles Wesley (in transcriptions or by notation). It includes the large collection of the Methodist Archive and Research Centre at The John Rylands University Library in Manchester, England, as well as scattered manuscript items at a number of other sites.
- List of manuscript verse at The John Rylands University Library (pdf)
- List of manuscript verse at other sites (pdf)
The manuscripts are presented in accordance with a set of guidelines to maximize reliability and usefulness. They are organized below in broad topical groupings.
A list of the short titles and abbreviations for Wesley publications that are used throughout this collection is available.
The texts are in (pdf) format that is searchable using Adobe Reader 7.0 and above.
Transcripts of Manuscript Verse
MS Hymns for Love
MS Miscellaneous Hymns
MS Miscellaneous Hymns (drafts)
MS Miscellaneous Verse 1786
MS Occasional Hymns
MS Preparation for Death
MS Richmond Tracts
Courtship and Family Collections
MS Deliberative Hymns
MS Epistle to Martha Wesley
MS Friendship I
MS Friendship II
MS Helen Durbin
MS Hymns for Wedding Anniversaries
MS Prayer for Truth
MS Prayer for Truth (drafts)
MS Samuel Wesley, R.C.
MS Sarah Wesley
[Note: MS Miscellaneous Poems, below in Political Verse, contains some verse on sons]
Illness, Death, and Funeral Hymns
MS Funeral Hymns (1756-87)
MS Death of Ebenezer Blackwell
MS Death of Elizabeth Blackwell
MS Death of Prudence Box
MS Death of Hannah Butts
MS Funeral Hymns for Hannah Butts
MS Death of Hannah Dewal (drafts 1 & 2)
MS Death of Bartholomew Gallatin (drafts 1 & 2)
MS Death of William Hitchens
MS Death of Mary Horton (drafts 1, 2, & 3)
MS Death of John Matthews (drafts 1 & 2)
MS Death of Dr. John Middleton (drafts 1 & 2)
MS Death of Thomas Waller (drafts 1 & 2)
MS Death of Charles Worgan (drafts 1 & 2)
MS Sarah Bulgin
MS Small Pox
Charles Wesley on his own death
Lay Preacher and Ordination Related Verse
Assorted Verse on 1784 Ordinations
MS Address to a Friend
MS Preachers 1779
MS Preachers 1786
MS Preachers 1786 (drafts)
MS Preachers Extraordinary
MS Revd -
MS Tribute to John Wesley
MS American Loyalists 1783
MS Charles James Fox 1784
MS Howe (drafts 1 & 2)
MS Hymn for King George 1769
MS Hymns for King and Queen 1780
MS Hymn for the King 1784
MS Miscellaneous Poems