Whitehead, John

, a physician, and preacher among the Methodists in the connexion of Wesley, whose life he wrote, was born of honest industrious parents in the country. At an early age he exhibited proofs of genius; and, before twenty, was a proficient in the Latin and Greek languages. Early in life he was connected with the Messrs. Wesley, and preached at Bristol. He left them, however, and set up as a linen-draper in that city, but failed in business; after which he became a Quaker, and a speaker in the congregations of that respectable body, who, by their beneficent friendship, set him up in a large boardingschool at Wandsworth, where many of their children were educated. Mr. Barclay, wishing his son to travel, proposed Dr. Whitehead to be his companion, paid all his expences, and settled on him \00l. a year. They went to Leyden, and his thirst for knowledge induced him to attend the anatomical, philosophical, and medical lectureship; and, about 1790, he had arrived at such a pitch of knowledge that his correspondence with Dr. Lettsotn determined the latter to bring him forward; so that, even while at Leyden (Dr. Kooystra, physician of the London Dispensary in Primrose-street, dying) the Doctor introduced him to that most excellent charity. After he had been in London two years, the Friends endeavoured to bring him into the London Hospital, Mileend, which was only lost by one vote, occasioned by giving a draft on a banker for payment the next day instead of the present at the time of the election. In about three years the Doctor left the Quakers, and united himself again to the Wesleys; and Mr. Wesley said to Mr. Ranken, “Do what you can to unite Dr. Whitehead with us again.” He succeeded; and Dr. W. preached very often, and was highly esteemed both as a physician and v preacher j so much so, that he attended Mr. Wesley in his last illness, and preached his funeral sermon. He afterwards published “The Life of the Rev, John Wesley, M. A. some time fellow of Lincoln college, Oxford, collected from his private Papers and printed Works, and written at the request of his Executors.” Of this work, which professedly forms <c a History of Methodism,“the first volume appeared in 1793, the second in 1796. This valuable and candid work | occasioned a rupture between Dr. Coke and his associates, who were styled” The Conference," and Dr. Whitehead; as they intended themselves to publish a Life; and the publication caused much party-dispute among the Wesleys, so as to exclude the Doctor from preaching; but a reconciliation took place, and he was again admitted to the pulpit. He died March 7, 1804. 1