Born: June 13 or 23, 1738, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England.
Died: July 17, 1799, Liverpool, Lancashire, England.
Buried: Liverpool, Lancashire, England.
Samuel was the youngest son of Guy Medley, husband of Mary Gill, father of painter Samuel Medley, and grandfather of surgeon Sir Henry Thompson, 1st Baronet.
After a false start as an apprentice, he joined the British Royal Navy, becoming a midshipman in 1755. He was wounded in battle off Port Lagos in 1759.
While he recuperated, someone read him a sermon by Isaac Watts, leading to his conversion. He left the navy and studied for the ministry under Dr. Gifford in London.
In 1767, he became pastor at the Baptist church in Watford, Herefordshire. In 1772, he began his ministry at Byron Street in Liverpool.
In 1793 Rev. Samuel Medley gave the following answers to printed questions sent to him and others from London:
In what town is your church?
In one where sin makes many a fool,
Known by the name of Liverpool.
Is it a church, chapel, or meeting?
Why, my good sir—’tis very true,
’Tis chapel, church, and meeting, too.
By what denomination is your church known?
By one that’s most despised of all,
Which folks in general, Baptists call.
What is your Christian and surname, degree?
My Christian name is called Saint
My surname rather odd and quaint,
But to explain the whole with ease,
Saint Samuel Medley, if you please;
And you from hence may plainly see,
That I have taken a degree.
Have you an assistant?
O yes! I’ve One of whom I boast
His name is call’d the Holy Ghost.
What number of people attend?
A many come, my worthy friend;
I dare not say they all attend;
But though so many, great and small,
I never number them at all,
For that was once poor David’s fall.
Is it encumbered with debt?
Incumber’d with debt,
It is certainly yet,
Though I at the present don’t state it;
But if ever from home,
I a begging should come,
I’ll readily to you relate it.
Long, p. 284