(1754–1847), Methodist minister. Born in Co. Tyrone and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, Averell was ordained into the Church of Ireland in 1777. However, he did not take up clerical office until 1789, and the inter-vening years were spent as a private tutor and schoolmaster. Slowly Averell became more evangelical in his views, and in October 1792 he preached for the first time to a Methodist congregation. Four years later he became a member of the Dublin Methodist Conference, and began a long career as a Methodist preacher and administrator. In 1818 the Methodist movement in Ireland split, and Averell emerged as the leader of the minority Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Conference. This group, whose presidency he retained until his retirement in 1841, regarded itself less as an independent church than as a religious society within the established church. In 1878, after disestablishment, the two Methodist factions reunited, leaving Averell's influence to be seen as perhaps ultimately divisive.
From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: European History.