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Samuel Wesley was the son of Methodist hymn-writer Charles Wesley, the grandson of the poet Samuel Wesley and the nephew of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church. His illegitimate son Samuel Sebastian Wesley was the greatest English composer of church music of the 19th century.
Samuel played the violin as well as the organ, and worked as a conductor as well as a music lecturer. He lived at a time when most English composers were writing sentimental music which was not very important. Wesley was one of the best composers of his time.