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Strawbridge, Robert (?–1781), Methodist lay preacher and farmer  

D. Gregory Van Dussen

Strawbridge, Robert (?–1781), Methodist lay preacher and farmer, was born in Drumsna (Drummersnave), County Leitrim, Ireland, the son of Robert Strawbridge, a farmer (mother’s name unknown). Little is known of his childhood or of his life in Ireland. In the mid-nineteenth century, Irish Methodist historian William Crook located the Strawbridge farm near Drumsna, on a “gentle eminence” overlooking the Shannon, and from its appearance concluded that the family had “lived in considerable comfort, if not affluence” (pp. 150–51). During the mid-1750s, Methodist evangelists in the vicinity of Drumsna converted Lawrence Coughlan, later a pioneer of Methodism in Newfoundland. Coughlan was instrumental in converting Leonard Strawbridge, Robert’s brother, and probably influenced Robert’s conversion as well. It is also possible that Robert was present during at least one of John Wesley’s visits to Drumsna....