John Dando's Letter to the Countess - Famous Friday

Signed picture of the Countess of Huntingdon at Rodborough Tabernacle - click for a larger versionJohn Dando, the elder, my 6 x great-grandfather, was involved in the Calvinistic Methodist movement during the 18th century Evangelical Revival. He was not only acquainted with, but offered hospitality to the famous preacher, George Whitefield, when he was staying in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

Whitefield became the Countess of Huntingdon's personal chaplain and with his assistance the Countess founded the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion, a Calvinistic movement within the Methodist Church.

Although John Dando was a hat maker, it was because of him that a group of Calvinistic Methodists moved from Stancombe to Dursley and established a Tabernacle (a type of Non-Conformist church), which was completed in about 1760.

In 1771, John wrote to Selina, The Countess of Huntingdon. The original letter is kept at The Countess of Huntingdon's Archives, The Cheshunt Foundation, Westminster College, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0AA. F1 Series No. 141.

In 2008, my parents went to Cambridge and viewed the letter. It's not known whether John Dando ever met the Countess in person but he certainly knew Whitefield.

Read more about John on his family page.

Category: Famous Connections

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