Gideon Ouseley

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Ouseley, Gideon, a distinguished Methodist preacher, was born at Dunmore, in the County of Galway, 24th February 1762. He was second cousin of Sir Gore and Sir William Ouseley, and received much of his education in their company. At first intended for the Church, he was eventually settled by his father on an extensive farm; he married early, and threw himself into the rollicking life of a Connaught squireen. In May 1791, through the ministrations of some Methodist soldiers of the 4th Dragoon Guards at Dunmore, he was converted (much to the amazement of his old associates, and greatly to the joy of his devoted wife). He entered on a career of incessant itinerary preaching, terminated only by his death at an advanced age.

Having a perfect command of the Irish language, he preached for the most part in the west and south; but indeed there was scarcely a barony in Ireland in which he did not make converts to Methodism. Charles Graham, William Hamilton, and John Neilson were among his earlier fellow-labourers. Travelling on horseback, they preached in season and out of season-at fairs and markets; in barns and private houses; to workmen in the fields, at the loom, and the scutch-mill. They endured with unfailing good temper and serenity buffetings and insults, stone-throwing, and derision: at times they drew audiences by singing hymns to old Irish tunes. Mr. Ouseley died in Dublin, 14th May 1839, aged 77) and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery.

His widow survived him fourteen years. [His younger brother, Sir Ralph, distinguished himself under Lake and Wellington, became a major-general in the army of Portugal, and besides being a British knight, bore four foreign orders and eight medals. He died at Lisbon in 1842, and was buried with his brother in Mount Jerome.] The Life of Gideon Ouseley, by William Arthur, from which these particulars are taken, contains much interesting matter illustrative of the condition of Ireland between 1762 and 1839.

Sources

274a. Ouseley, Gideon, Memoirs. London, 1876.

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