Suppressed by John Wesley
The Mitre. A Sacred Poem.
[London: Printed for Edward Perronet, 1757]. (BRB1020)
The author of this poem, Edward Perronet (1721–1792) of Canterbury, was an early follower of the Wesleys and Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon. However, during the 1750s Perronet began to voice radical views on theology and religious practice at a time when John Wesley was attempting to keep the Methodist movement within the established Church. Perronet's The Mitre, a poem that attacked the bishops of the Church of England and satirized traditional worship, was printed privately for the author, but at Wesley’s request it was never published. This copy, extensively annotated by Perronet, bears a marginal note explaining that those whom the Anglican bishops had dismissed as “A set of noisy, bawling men: (Roaring like lions in their den)” were Methodist lay preachers. The subsequent verse counters that their work will outlast that of the episcopacy.