Born: De­cem­ber 11, 1757, Bris­tol, Eng­land.

Died: May 23, 1834, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Buried: East Finch­ley Ce­me­te­ry and Cre­ma­to­ri­um, Lon­don, Eng­land.


Charles was the son of hymn­ist Charles Wesley, but is less well known than his bro­ther, com­pos­er Sam­uel Wes­ley.

Like Sam­uel, he was re­gard­ed as a mu­sic­al pro­di­gy in child­hood, and was play­ing the or­gan be­fore the age of three. He be­came a pro­fes­sion­al mu­si­cian, and the Eu­ro­pe­an Ma-ga­zine of 1784 re­port­ed his per­for­mance on the or­gan has gi­ven su­preme de­light.

He did not en­joy public per­for­mance, though, and worked main­ly as a pri­vate or­gan­ist, at one time to the Prince Re­gent. He was con­nect­ed with the ro­yal fa­mi­ly through much of his life, hav­ing first played at the Queen’s House at the age of 18.

A hand­ful of his com­po­si­tions are still played: A key­board so­na­ta in F mi­nor had its first per­for­mance on February 1, 2007 at the Per­kins School of The­ol­o­gy at Sou­thern Me­thod­ist Uni­ver­si­ty, Dal­las, Tex­as, as part of a cel­e­bra­tion of the 300th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of Charles Wes­ley’s birth and the 250th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of Charles Jun­ior.