The parents of John Wesley, Samuel and Susanna (nee Annesley), were raised in Puritan dissent, although both made their way back to the Church of England as young people. Deeply principled in many respects, Samuel and Susanna created a family environment at the Epworth rectory in Lincolnshire that eventually produced three priests for the church they so loved. John Wesley was born in Epworth on June 17, 1703 (according to the Julian calendar), and was the fifteenth of eighteen or nineteen children. Something of a disciplinarian, Susanna Wesley believed that conquering the will of her children was the only strong foundation for a religious education. When this was done properly, the child could then be governed by the reason and piety of its parents until its own understanding came to fruition. Susanna had many opportunities to exercise strong leadership in the family and she cared for her children according to rule and method. Six hours a day were spent at school where instruction was serious and thorough and where loud talking and boisterous playing were strictly forbidden.
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