About the Collection
Selina Shirley Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon (1707 – 1791), was a noteworthy figure in eighteenth-century English Methodism. She was an admirer and follower of John Wesley yet made her own mark as a leader of the Calvinistic wing of the Methodist movement.
Born into an aristocratic family in 1707, Selina Shirley married Theophilus Hastings, the ninth Earl of Huntingdon, in 1728. The couple had seven children, of whom only three survived into adulthood.
The Countess of Huntingdon was known as "Lady Bountiful" for her philanthropic support of the Evangelical Revival. She provided funds for the establishment of sixty-four chapels, missionary work in America, and the first Methodist theological college, Trevecca College (later Cheshunt College, now part of Westminster College). Following her transition from Wesley's Arminian Methodism to Whitefield's Calvinistic Methodism, she founded "The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion," her own society of preachers in England.
Bridwell Library's Special Collections holds 64 letters written by the Countess of Huntingdon. A finding aid to the Letters of Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon is available at Texas Archival Resources Online. For more information about the collection,, please contact Bridwell Library's Special Collections Department.