Samuel Drew was born in a cramped mill cottage a mile to the east of St Austell on 3 March 1765 and baptized in the parish church three weeks later. He died in Helston on 29 March 1833. Drew's promised auto-biography was never written, though autobiographical fragments are to be found in the introductions to his various published works. His family was of affluent Devonshire stock, but his grandfather, Benjamin, who kept a tavern in St Austell, Cornwall squandered the family inheritance on an undisciplined life. Samuel Drew's father Joseph, Benjamin's second son, was converted under the preaching of George Whitefield at the age of eighteen, which led to such persecution in the family that he was forced to leave home. He joined the St Austell Methodists, and, possessed of a reasonable education, soon became both a class leader and a local preacher. He married in 1756 but his first wife died childless within three years. He married again in 1762 Thomasin Osborne, a Mevagissey Methodist whose father was a gardener. Herself an autodidact, she played a crucial role in Drew's upbringing until her death from consumption before Samuel was ten years old.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.