Cowper & Newton Connections prior to July 1767 meeting

We would love to hear from you if you have other connections or information about events leading up to what appears to be the first meeting of John & William in Huntingdon on 6th July 1767.


Martin Madan

The Rev Martin Madan was William’s cousin.

Chaplain to the London Lock Hospital with Dr Thomas Haweis as Assistant Chaplain

Closely connected with the Calvinistic Methodist movement supported by the Countess of Huntingdon of which Lord Dartmouth was also a key figure.

John’s 1767 Diary:  Weds 18th February

‘Dined at Mr Madan’s with Lord and Lady Dartmouth etc’

Friday 20th February

‘Evening preached at the Lock from Hebrews 12:14’

In 1763-4  Martin Madan Thomas Haweis ministered to William during his ‘insanity’

1760 Martin Madan  had published for the Lock Hospital a collection of Psalms and Hymns extracted from various Authors, and in 1769 added to this with A Collection of Psalms and Hymn Tunes.  William tells us in a letter (Oct 1766) that he, William Unwin and his mother Mary Unwin often ‘sing some hymns of  Martin’s collection’


Rev Richard Conyers

Conyers belonged to a circle around The Gospel Magazine, including John Berridge, Thomas HaweisMartin Madan, and John Newton.[49]

John was in Yorkshire in March 1767  ‘Sunday 8th March    Heard Mr Conyers with pleasure at church and at home.’   John’s diary shows that he met with Mr Conyers nearly every day until 29th March when he and his wife took leave of the area.

4th May Mr & Mrs Conyers 1767 came to stay with John & Mary (Polly) in Olney

Obtained his LL.D from Jesus College Cambridge in 1767

We are not certain why Conyers was in Huntingdon in July 1767, nor why he was not in that day… however, his absence from home led John ‘calling on Mrs Unwin and Mrs Cooper’  (possibly at Aldwinkle with Haweis?)


Rev William Unwin

Son of Rev Morely Unwin & Mary Unwin

Cowper’s friend from his meeting in Huntingdon to his death at 41.  (Cowper’s letters to Unwin)

Gained his MA in 1767 at Christ College Cambridge

Ordained Deacon December 1767 in London

Ordained Priest March 1769


Earl Of Dartmouth William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth

A member of Lady Huntingdon’s circle

Patron & Lord of the Manor of Olney

Offered the Curacy at Olney first to Dr Haweis serving at Lock Chapel with Rev Martin Madan.  Dr Haweis suggested he offer it to John Newton.

One of the chief patrons of the evangelical preaching at Lock Chapel

In the 6th form at Westminster with William Cowper.

Newton’s letters to Lord Dartmouth show that Cowper was also writing to him  –  we have not seen these.  Does anyone know where they are?


Dr Thomas Haweis

1st 26th letters of Cardiphonia  addressed to him.  Encouraged John to publish his ‘Authentic Narrative’   Brought it to the attention of Lord Dartmouth.

Refused the curacy of Olney and suggested to Lord Dartmouth that it be given to Newton.

See link to William Cowper above


Rev John Cowper (William’s brother)