William Grimshaw is back!
It was Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell who first spread the rumour that Rev. William Grimshaw (1708-63) of Haworth used to horsewhip his reluctant parishioners from the local pub into church. The story was almost certainly highly exaggerated.
But Evangelical Press reports that Grimshaw has again aroused alarm in the picturesque Yorkshire neighbourhoods of the Brontes. On Christmas Eve 2008, bill-boards outside paper shops and supermarkets in the Bradford area read: ‘Hellfire preacher in print’.
This and other media attention, including a BBC website interview, was sparked by EP’s publication of Living the Christian life, a selection of Grimshaw’s original writings by Paul and Faith Cook. One media source even asked if Mr Grimshaw could come in for an interview!
William Grimshaw was remarkably used by God in the eighteenth century Evangelical Awakening. John Wesley even deputed him as his successor to lead the Methodist movement, but Wesley long outlived Grimshaw. The thrilling story can be read in Faith Cook’s William Grimshaw of Haworth (Banner of Truth).