Born: 1726, Sund­ridge, Kent, Eng­land.

Died: Jan­u­a­ry 2, 1792, Can­te­rbu­ry, Kent, Eng­land.

Buried: Can­ter­bury Ca­thed­ral, Kent, Eng­land.



Perronet was the son of Ang­li­can min­is­ter Ed­ward Per­ro­net, vi­car of Shore­ham, Kent. His fa­mi­ly des­cend­ed from French Hu­gue­nots who fled the con­ti­nent to es­cape re­li­gious per­se­cu­tion.

For a time, Per­ro­net was a co-work­er of John and Charles Wes­ley.


Perronet spent the end of his life at a Con­gre­ga­tion­al church in Can­ter­bu­ry.

Charles Wes­ley wrote this up­on Per­ro­net’s death:


Here lies, who late an living emblem lay
Of human greatness, in a tent of clay;
A pilgrim, wandering through this desert wild,
Weak as a reed, and helpless as a child:
Whose strengthened arm
By faith untaught to yield,
Oft foiled the Tempter, and maintained the field.
In wars without, in warring fears within,
He conquered terror as he conquered sin;
Looked for himself to Him, whose potent breath
Can light up darkness, or extinguish death:
Dart from his eye destruction on the foe,
And make hell tremble as she hears the blow:
He looked and found what all who look receive,
Strength to resist, and virtue to believe;
The tender chastenings of a Father’s rod:
While thus corrected, as by pain refined
The dross is left—no more his spirit mourns,
But spreads her wings, and to her Ark returns;
Great Ark of Rest—the sufferer’s bright abode;
The arms of Jesus, and the Ark of God.


Mr. Wes­ley had long been de­sir­ous of hear­ing Ed­ward Per­ro­net preach; and Mr. Per­ro­net, aware of it, was as re­so­lute­ly de­ter­mined he should not, and there­fore stu­died to avoid ev­ery oc­ca­sion that would lead to it.

Mr. Wes­ley was preach­ing in Lon­don one ev­en­ing, and see­ing Mr. Per­ro­net in the cha­pel, pub­lished, with­out ask­ing his con­sent, that he would preach there the next morn­ing at five o’clock. Mr. Per­ro­net had too much re­spect for the con­gre­ga­tion to dis­turb their peace by a public re­mon­strance, and too much re­gard for Mr. Wes­ley en­tire­ly to re­sist his bid­ding.

The night passed ov­er. Mr. Per­ro­net as­cend­ed the pul­pit un­der the im­pres­sion that Mr. Wes­ley would be se­cret­ed in some cor­ner of the cha­pel, if he did not show him­self pub­lic­ly, and, af­ter sing­ing and pray­er, in­formed the con­gre­ga­tion that he ap­peared be­fore them con­tra­ry to his own wish; that he had ne­ver been once asked, much less his con­sent gained, to preach; that he had done vi­o­lence to his feel­ings to show his re­spect for Mr. Wes­ley; and now that he had been com­pelled to oc­cu­py the place in which he stood, weak and in­ad­e­quate as he was for the work as­signed him, he would pledge him­self to furnish them with the best ser­mon that ev­er had been de­liv­ered.

Opening the Bi­ble, he pro­ceeded to read our Lord’s Ser­mon on the Mount, which he con­clud­ed with­out a sin­gle word of his own by way of note or com­ment. He closed the ser­vice with sing­ing and pray­er. No im­i­tat­or has been able to pro­duce eq­ual ef­fect.

Quoted in Duffield, pp.17-18