The following is a list of Clive Field’s principal publications (excluding bibliographies) on the history of British Methodism, chronologically arranged within publication type:

Microform Collection

The People called Methodists: a Documentary History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain and Ireland on Microfiche, Leiden: Inter Documentation Company, 1989-98, 4,317 fiches.

The People called Methodists: a Documentary History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain and Ireland on Microfiche – 3rd cumulative catalogue, Leiden: Inter Documentation Company, 1998, 78pp.

The People called Methodists microfiche project: a progress report’, Bulletin of the Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries, Vol. 2, No. 13, March 1992, pp. 3-7.

Book-Length Works

‘Methodism in Metropolitan London, 1850-1920: a Social and Sociological Study’, University of Oxford D.Phil. thesis, 1974, ix + 401pp.

Lutonian Odyssey: Reminiscences of Lily Field for 191552, Birmingham: Clive D. Field, 2008, xiii + 115pp.

  • ABSTRACT: Lily Field was a lifelong Lutonian. Born in 1915, her childhood was overshadowed by the death of her father and one sister in 1918 and that of her other sister in 1924. Her mother brought her up, first in Round Green and then in Selbourne Road, in straitened circumstances, and Lily was denied the opportunity to go to high school and instead became apprenticed in the hat trade. She lived in Dudley Street, High Town from 1935 to 1952. After a number of unsuccessful relationships, Lily eventually married in 1949. She died in 1982. Lily’s reminiscences, substantially written in 1979 and now published for the first time, recount her life from 1915 to 1952. They describe her home and family circumstances, her education at Hitchin Road and Denbigh Road Schools, her association with Methodism, her career in the hat industry, her wartime experiences, and her courtship, wedding and early married life. They also illuminate many aspects of the social history of Luton between the wars. The memoirs are augmented by Lily’s diary for 1942 and by original photographs from her family albums.

Articles and Essays

‘A sociological profile of English Methodism, 1900-1932’, Oral History, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1976, pp. 73-95.

‘The social structure of English Methodism: eighteenth-twentieth centuries’, British Journal of Sociology, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2, June 1977, pp. 199-225.

‘Preparing for the Wesley 250th: British Methodist studies, 1980-88’, Epworth Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, May 1988, pp. 95-109.

‘The social composition of English Methodism to 1830: a membership analysis’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, Vol. 76, No. 1, Spring 1994, pp. 153-78.

‘Methodism in the 1851 religious census of England and Wales: a methodological reappraisal’, Methodism in its Cultural Milieu: Proceedings of the Centenary Conference of the Wesley Historical Society in Conjunction with the World Methodist Historical Society, held 26-30 July 1993 in Cambridge, England, edited by Timothy Stuart Alexander-Macquiban, Oxford: Applied Theology Press, 1994, pp. 169-90.

‘Bramwell, William’, The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, 1730-1860, edited by Donald Lewis, Oxford:  Blackwell, 1995, Vol. I, p. 133.

‘O’Bryan, William’, The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, 1730-1860, edited by Donald Lewis, Oxford: Blackwell, 1995, Vol. II, pp. 837-8.

‘The Methodist local preacher: an occupational analysis’, Workaday Preachers: the Story of Methodist Local Preaching, edited by Geoffrey Eden Milburn and Margaret Batty, Peterborough: Methodist Publishing House, 1995, pp. 223-42, 324-7.

  • ABSTRACT: Although historians are slowly building up a picture of the social composition of British Methodist membership and congregations in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and of the social background of the ordained ministry, comparatively little is yet known about the origins of Methodism’s lay leadership. Most attention has focused on chapel trustees, a group whose occupations are routinely recorded in the enrolled trust deeds available at the Public Record Office, and very little primary work has been undertaken on the local preachers, despite the fact that they have always filled the vast majority of Methodist pulpits Sunday by Sunday. This chapter attempts to advance our understanding of the position regarding the occupational origins of the local preachers through, first, a synthesis of what little research has already been carried out and, secondly, an analysis of a random set of data drawn from The Methodist Local Preachers’ Who’s Who, 1934, the one and only occasion when an attempt has been made to publish biographical information about the whole community of local preachers.

‘The mania of Methodism’, The University of Birmingham Research Libraries Bulletin, No. 5, Summer 1997, pp. 5-9.

‘The mania of Methodism reconsidered: Richard Polwhele’s polemics against the Methodists, 1799-1836’, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, New Series II, Vol. II, Part 4, 1997, pp. 75-89.

  • ABSTRACT: Chronological and critical review of the anti-Methodist publications of the Anglican clergyman Richard Polwhele and of the ensuing pamphlet controversy with Richard Hawker, Samuel Drew, and others.

‘Membership statistics’, A Dictionary of Methodism in Britain and Ireland, edited by John Ashley Vickers, Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2000, pp. 228-9.

‘Sidelights on the Victorian Wesleyan ministry: the diary of Charles Prest, 1823-75 – a quantitative analysis’, Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Vol. 52, Part 5, May 2000, pp. 176-83.

  • ABSTRACT: Provides a quantitative analysis of Prest’s public engagements and sermons, as he recorded them in his diary over a period of half a century, in order to throw light on the day-to-day life of a Victorian circuit minister and connexional office-holder.

‘“The devil in solution”: how temperate were the Methodists?’, Epworth Review, Vol. 27, No. 3, July 2000, pp. 78-93.

  • ABSTRACT: Surveys a range of evidence, mostly quantitative, to reach ten tentative conclusions about the relationship of British Methodism to temperance. In particular, it argues that adherence to total abstinence principles among the British Methodist laity has never been quite as pervasive as folk memory and tradition would suggest.

‘Joining and leaving British Methodism since the 1960s’, Joining and Leaving Religion: Research Perspectives, edited by Leslie John Francis and Yaacov Katz, Leominster: Gracewing, 2000, pp. 57-85.

  • ABSTRACT: The chapter offers a quantitative analysis of the processes of joining and leaving the British Methodist Church between 1960 and 1998, a period which witnessed a membership decline of 51.5 per cent.  The early part of the study reviews decennial statistics of membership inflows and outflows as recorded in the official connexional returns.  A significant degree of membership turnover is revealed: underlying a net decrease of 375,259 members during these years were 2,536,920 individual flows, 1,079,615 gains and 1,457,305 losses.  Subsequently, a variety of non-recurrent surveys are utilized to paint a picture of the demographics and rationales of the joiners and leavers.  The conclusion distils from this evidence the major factors, positive and negative, which are likely to have a bearing on future membership trends and projects the size of the Methodist Church in 2010.

‘O’Bryan, William (1778-1868)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Colin Matthew and Brian Harrison, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, Vol. 41, pp. 396-7.

‘Osborn, George (1808-1891)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Colin Matthew and Brian Harrison, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, Vol. 41, p. 988.

‘Perks, Sir Robert William, first baronet (1849-1934)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Colin Matthew and Brian Harrison, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, Vol. 43, pp. 784-5.

‘Thorne, James (1795-1872)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Colin Matthew and Brian Harrison, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, Vol. 54, p. 602.

‘Vignettes of London Methodism in the early twentieth century’, Wesley Historical Society London and South East Branch Journal, No. 77, Spring 2008, pp. 6-19 and No. 78, Autumn 2008, pp. 12-22.

‘Methodism in Shropshire in 1851: an overview from the religious census’, Shropshire History and Archaeology, Vol. LXXX, 2009 for 2005, pp. 176-89.

‘Safe as houses: Methodism and the building society movement in England and Wales’ [summary], Wesley Historical Society West Midlands Branch Bulletin, Vol. 9, No. 3, Spring 2009, pp. 59-63.

‘The People called Methodists today: statistical insights from the social sciences’, Epworth Review, Vol. 36, No. 4, October 2009, pp. 16-29.

‘Safe as houses: Methodism and the building society movement in England and Wales’, Methodism and History: Essays in Honour of John Vickers, edited by Peter Stuart Forsaith and Martin Wellings, Oxford: Applied Theology Press, 2010, pp. 91-139.

‘Introduction: Charles Wesley after 300 years’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, Vol. 88, No. 2, 2010 for 2006, pp. 11-17. [with Robert Webster]

‘Demography and the decline of British Methodism: I. Nuptiality’, Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Vol. 58, No. 4, February 2012, pp. 175-89.

  • ABSTRACT: The first of three articles exploring the demographic history of British Methodism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and its implications for the numerical decline of the Methodist Church. Considers how many Methodists married (a very high proportion) and the age at which they married (with some tendency to defer marriage, potentially impacting fertility).

‘Demography and the decline of British Methodism: II. Fertility’, Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Vol. 58, No. 5, May 2012, pp. 200-15.

‘Demography and the decline of British Methodism: III. Mortality’, Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Vol. 58, No. 6, October 2012, pp. 247-63.

‘The Allan Library: a Victorian Methodist odyssey’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, Vol. 89, No. 2, 2012-13, pp. 69-105.

  • ABSTRACT: The history of the Allan Library is here told systematically for the first time. This antiquarian collection of substantially foreign-language books and some manuscripts was formed by barrister Thomas Robinson Allan (1799–1886) during the 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s. His stated intention was to create a Methodist rival to Sion College Library (Church of England) and Dr Williams’s Library (Old Dissent). Allan donated it to the Wesleyan Methodist Conference in 1884, which funded the erection of purpose-built Allan Library premises opening in London in 1891. However, the Wesleyans struggled to make a success of the enterprise as a subscription library, and the collection was in storage between 1899 and 1920, before being sold by Conference to the London Library (where most of it still remains). The Allan Library Trust was established with the proceeds of the sale. The reasons for the relative failure of Allan’s great library project are fully explored.

‘Methodist prosopography: sources and exemplars of collective biography in British Methodism’, Brands Plucked from the Burning: Essays on Methodist Memorialisation and Remembering, edited by David Hart and David Jeremy, Evesham: Wesley Historical Society, 2013, pp. 238-71.

  • ABSTRACT: A revision of a 2011 conference paper, the first purpose of the chapter is to survey the range of primary resources which would support the prosopographical analysis of British Methodism, as regards both ministry and laity. The review covers born-prosopographical evidence as well as that which can be retrospectively assembled. Some reference is made to significant secondary studies which have deployed prosopographical techniques. This links to the second part of the chapter, which provides four illustrations from the author’s own research of how quantitative collective biography can shed light on the history of British Methodism in the opening decades of the twentieth century.
  • OPEN ACCESS: By kind permission of the publisher, the post-print version is available at the following link: Methodist prosopography – published

‘Fun, faith, and fellowship: British Methodism and tourism in the twentieth century’, Journal of Tourism History, Vol. 7, Nos 1-2, 2015, pp. 75-99.

  • ABSTRACT: The interaction between religion and tourism has been little studied in the British historical context. A case study is offered of the contribution made by Methodism, the largest of the British Free Churches, to the development of holidays during the twentieth century. The provision of resort hotels in Britain by Methodist-affiliated agencies is reviewed, including the history of Methodist Guild Holidays and Methodist Holiday Hotels. The organization of continental holidays for Methodists is also considered. The heyday of the Methodist holiday movement is shown to be in the third quarter of the century, although, even then, only a relatively small minority of the Methodist community took the opportunity of a denominational-based holiday. From the 1970s Methodism’s holiday provision has diminished significantly, and reasons for this are suggested. Methodism’s ministry to non-Methodist tourists has had limited success at the evangelistic level, albeit in recent years attempts have been made to realize the touristic potential of Methodism’s historic sites.

‘Observing Methodist worship: Worcester, 1940 and 1973’, Celebrating 50 Golden Years of the Wesley Historical Society – West Midlands Methodist History Society, 1965-2015, editors: Donald Ryan, Dorothy Graham, Richard Ratcliffe, and Diane Webb, [Wolverhampton]: West Midlands Methodist History Society, 2016, pp. 98-110.

  • ABSTRACT: The chapter comprises transcripts, with brief introduction, of two observations of Sunday services at Pump Street Methodist Church, Worcester, one by Jack Atkins of Mass Observation in 1940, the other by Clive Field in 1973.

‘Crosses on the ballot: the political alignments of British Methodists, 1832-2017’, Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Vol. 61, No. 6, October 2018, pp. 239-64.

  • ABSTRACT: The text of the Annual Lecture of the Wesley Historical Society for 2018, the article surveys what is known about the voting behaviour of British Methodists at parliamentary elections between 1832 and 2017, in four periods: 1832-67, 1867-1918, 1918-45, and 1945-2017. It concludes with four summative reflections on: the party choice of Methodists; the impact of the Methodist vote; the prominence of religious considerations in determining Methodist voting; and the intrusion of party politics into Methodist life at the grass roots.