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Henry Venn

Henry Venn (1724-1797), the Anglican rector of Huddersfield in Yorkshire and later of Yelling in Huntingdonshire, was the author of the once well-known book The Complete Duty of Man.

After his spiritual awakening towards the end of his years at Cambridge University, Venn served several curacies in the Church of England before being called to minister in Huddersfield in 1759. In the twelve years of his ministry there the town was transformed from its spiritual and moral darkness, and multitudes were brought into the kingdom of God.

Dogged by ill-health, Venn found it necessary to move south, becoming vicar of a very different parish, that of Yelling in Huntingdonshire. Here he served faithfully and fruitfully until shortly before his death in 1797.

Venn’s ministry, spanning as it did virtually the whole of the second half of the century, was widely appreciated and brought him into contact with Christians at all levels of eighteenth century society, and he counted Lady Huntingdon, Fletcher of Madeley, John Newton, William Cowper and many other evangelical leaders among his friends. His Letters, re-published by the Trust, contain practical spiritual counsel of perennial wisdom applicable to a wide variety of situations, and include a Memoir of his life compiled by his son and grandson.

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