Baptist ministers in the 18th century: a further reflection

Standing at the far left of the picture of the Baptist ministers we have been considering is Samuel Pearce (1766-99), one of my Baptist heroes. Immediately to his right is William Steadman (1764-1837), who played a central role in Baptist renewal in the North of England. Steadman far outlived Pearce, but the two had been close friends during their time together at Bristol Baptist Academy, where they both studied in the late 1780s. Whoever drew this picture must have known of their friendship for their being placed together is not fortuitous. It corresponds to two other groups of friends that we will consider at a later point. Pearce was widely known to be a friend of Andrew Fuller and John Ryland, both sitting in the picture, but the friendship with Steadman was not as widely known, which makes this point quite interesting.