Wesley Historical Society

Biography/History

The Wesley Historical Society was formed in 1893 “to promote the study of the history and literature of early Methodism.” The Irish Branch of the Society was established in 1926 in Dublin to conserve and study the history of the Methodist Church in Ireland, and to encourage others in the learning of it. Based initially in Dublin until 1934 when the Branch headquarters were transferred to Belfast, the Society was administered by a small committee of 13 ministers and laymen including a Secretary and Treasurer. A President was not appointed until 1942, when the first holder, Francis J. Cole, was selected. In 1967 the Society appointed an honorary Archivist to look after the growing library and archive collection in the person of Mrs Marion Kelly who remained in post until 1995. In addition to providing access to the library, the Society today publishes a Bulletin of papers and queries on Methodist history, arranges visits to places of historic interest and organises occasional lectures.