John Wesley Statue
Public Art: John Wesley Statue
Sculptor: © Paul Raphael Montford (1 November 1868 –
15 January 1938)
Date Unveiled: The statue was unveiled in 1935 by
Chief Justice, Sir John Latham.
Description: Full size bronze of
a young John Wesley (with long wavy hair) in flowing robe.
Commissioned By : Frederick John Cato (1858-1935) and
his son. Cato, a grocer and philanthropist, died before ever seeing the statue unveiled.
Location: Outside the Wesley
Church, Melbourne, Australia.
So Who Was John Wesley ? : John Wesley (1702-1791)
was an Anglican minister and Christian theologian who became one of the early leaders in the Methodist movement. He
was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, one of nineteen children (yes, thats right 19!). His parents made sure all of
their brood could read and write at an early age. He was educated in Chirst Church and ordained deacon in 1725. By
the time he was 27 he was president of the Holy Club and happily reciting passages from the Greek Testament . The
club soon became known as the Methodists, because of the methodical way they studied. In 1735 Wesley and his
brother sailed to Georgia as missionaries but it proved to be a disaster. Wesley got himself in a spot of bother
with a women. The love affair turned sour and it got rather ugly after he later refused to serve communion to his
ex and her new husband. After her husband charged him with slander,an embarrassed Wesley left Georgia under
the cover of darkness and returned to England. Wesley was deeply influenced by the Moravians, who he believed had
an inner strength to which he lacked. Wesley began preaching sermons in the open or where ever he was invited. In
1739 he broke with the Moravians and decided to form his own society known as the Methodist Society in England.
This didn't go down too well with other religious groups and Wesley and his followers soon found themselves
persecuted by clergymen and magistrates. In 1791 Wesley married Mary Vazeille, a widow. The unhappy union ended
when his wife left him fifteen years later. Wesley died at the age of 88 and is buried behind Wesley's Chapel in
City Road, London.
Other Works by Paul Raphael Monford's :
Adam Lindsay Gordon George Higinbotham
Shrine of Remembrance (1927-32):
1926-30 – A Court Favourite (bronze figure, Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne)
1927?-29 – Camperdown War Memorial (life-size bronze, Spirit of Empire)
1927-1928/29 – William Benjamin Chaffey Memorial, Mildura (life-size bronze)
1931 – bronze bust of Delafield W Cook.
c.1928-32 – bronze bust of Sir John Monash ( La Trobe Valley Arts Centre)
1928-30 – bronze busts of Frank Tate
Hamilton Russell (Alfred Hospital, Melbourne)
Senator Sir Harry Lawson (Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine)
1928-30 – Malvern War Memorial
c.1928 - Virgin and Child, Carmelite Church,beaten copper over wood, fabricated by Robert Prenzel to Montford’s
1928-32 - Adam Lindsay Gordon memorial
c.1930 – a bronze relief bust of Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer
1930-32 – Carlo Catani memorial, (bronze bust)
1932 – memorial to Bishop Long (bronze relief and plaque in Bathurst Cathedral)
John Wesley (1935 , Melbourne)
Justice Higginbotham (1936 – Macarthur Place, Carlton),
George V Memorial, Ararat (post-1936)
busts of Sir Robert Gibson and Sir Charles Nathan (both made from death-masks).