WHITEFIELD, GEORGE, an Eng lish clergyman; born in Gloucester, Eng land, Dec. 16, 1714. At the age of 18 he entered as servitor at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he became acquainted with the Wesleys, and joined the small society which procured them the name of Meth odists. He was ordained deacon in 1736, and soon became very popular as a preacher. In 1738 he went to the Ameri can settlement of Georgia, where his min istrations gave great satisfaction to the colonists. In the following year he re turned to England to procure subscrip tions for building an orphan house in the settlement. Having taken priest's orders, he repaired to London, where the churches in which he preached proved incapable of holding the crowds who as sembled to hear him. He now adopted preaching in the open air, and visited various parts of the country, addressing vast audiences. In 1739 he again em
barked for America, and made a tour through several of the provinces, preach ing with great effect to immense crowds. He returned to England in the following year, where for a time differences be tween him and Wesley deprived him of many followers. After visiting many parts of England, Scotland, and Wales be again returned to America, and re mained there nearly four years. Soon after his return he was introduced to the Countess of Huntingdon, who made him one of her chaplains. A visit to Ireland and two more voyages to Amer ica followed, and for several years his labors were unremitting. He was the founder of the Calvinistic Methodists. At length, on his seventh visit to Amer ica, he died in Newburyport, Mass., Sept. 30, 1770. See METHODISM: WES LEY.