JOHN WESLEY IN STOCKPORT.
My first reply is to " H.W.” who asks if I can give him any authentic account of John Wesley's visits to Stockport. The Rev. John Wesley records in his journal over twenty visits paid to the town from 1759 to 1790. He mentions preaching on a green near the town's end—(perhaps some one can enlighten us as to where this particular place would be?)—on April 29th, 1759. The first Wesleyan Chapel erected in Stockport was built in 1759, on the site of Hillgate Chapel (now the Central Hall). Mr Wesley preached in this chapel March 10th, 1760; again on March 16th in the same year; and again on Friday, April 27th, 1761. On July 8th; 1761, he again mentions preaching on the green at Stockport. On Tuesday, April 5th, 1774, he preached in the Hillgate Chapel at the evening service. He mentions walking from Portwood the following morning, and preaching in the Hillgate Chapel at five o'clock in the morning to a full congregation. The last time Mr Wesley visited Stockport was on Thursday, May 2nd, 1790, about twelve months before his death. Although Mr Wesley does not state in his journal whose guest he was when he visited Stockport, yet he distinctly infers that he was the guest of some one residing in Portwood. At the time of his visits Portwood Hall was the residence of Mr Matthew Mayer, who then farmed Portwood Hall estate. Mr Mayer was a zealous follower of Mr Wesley. He married a lady, a native of Bristol, who was born in the year 1748. She was a very exemplary person, and became much attached to Mr Wesley whilst she resided in Bristol, and was well known by him in that city.' As there was no property in Portwood at the time Mr Wesley was in the habit 'of visiting Stockport, save a few cottages round about Pool Lane, Avenue street, and a few near the Old Hall, and these being inhabited by this poorer class of people, we may safely infer that Mr Wesley would lodge with his young friend from Bristol, Mrs Mayer, at the hall. Mr Joseph Mayer, often styled the father of the Stockport Sunday School,. was the son of Mr and Mrs Matthew Mayer. This really good lady died at Cale Green on the 23rd June, 1825, aged . 77 years. By the way, Cale Green derived its name from a person named John Cale, who resided at the house called "The Homestead," which was one of the first houses of any importance erected in this district. John Cale was a member of the Society of Friends, and his initials are, I think, still to be seen carved in stone on the front of The Homestead.