Wesley is on display

AS ONE of the founding fathers of Methodism, John Wesley is well-known throughout the world as a Christian evangelist.

But his experiments into producing cures for the sick are not often talked about – until now.

An exhibition revealing the surprising and illuminating history of Wesley’s wild and wonderful medical ideas is now touring the country until September 30 , visiting Epworth (at the Old Rectory until April 27), Bristol, Launceston, Englesea Brook, London and Newcastle.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Wesley and Well-being’, will explore Wesley’s medicinal manual, Primitive Physic, which was so popular in its day that it was republished 23 times, making it an 18th century best-seller.

Although some of his “cures” were denounced by 18th century critics as “possibly deadly”, his thinking was occasionally ahead of his time: honey is used in many of his remedies, even though its antiseptic and antibacterial properties have only been recently confirmed by science.