Moore, Henry (1751–1844), methodist minister and biographer, was born 21 December 1751 in Drumcondra, Dublin, second child and only son among five children of Richard Moore, a wealthy Church of Ireland farmer, who died young in 1763. A marriage in 1746 between a Richard Moore and Rebecca Humphreys may be that of his parents. The young man, educated in a commercial school and by a neighbouring clergyman, hoped for a career as a clergyman or lawyer, but had to be apprenticed to a woodcarver when his father died; he worked briefly in London, but after his return to Dublin attended methodist services and, after great religious despair, experienced a conversion in February 1777.
For a short time he was successful as a schoolmaster, but as he became increasingly involved with the work and preaching of the methodist society in Dublin, he gave up teaching lest worldly success should distract him. For similar reasons he abandoned the study of medicine when he was stationed in Dublin in the 1780s, and later declined the editorship of the Arminian Magazine. He was sent to the Londonderry circuit in May 1779; he preached in Coleraine every morning at 5.00 a.m., and experienced much success in attracting hearers. Anna and Isabella Young of Coleraine had been converted by John Wesley's (qv) preaching in the town in 1778 and became influential in the movement; Moore married Anna Young in 1779, and her sister married another methodist preacher. Their relatives include Sir John Young (qv), 2nd baronet and 1st Baron Lisgar.
In August 1787 Moore had begun preaching at open-air meetings in Dublin, with large audiences; at one meeting a riot erupted, and he would have been flung off the chair on which he stood, but for his wife's bravery in holding on to it. The crowd was greatly impressed when a drunken sailor, who jeered at the preacher, fell from the quayside and drowned. In the autumn Moore was able to acquire premises in Marlborough St., and membership grew steadily. In 1784–6, and again in 1788–90, Moore lived with John Wesley as his companion and assistant; relations between them were always very close, and Moore travelled from Bristol to attend Wesley's deathbed on 2 March 1791.
By Wesley's will, Moore was one of his literary executors; another of the executors planned to use Wesley's papers to write the leader's biography, but when this author fell into dispute with the methodist conference, and when one of Wesley's former opponents published a biography in 1791, conference urged Moore and his colleague Thomas Coke to produce an authorised biography. In 1792, without having seen the papers, they published a hastily written Life. At length, in 1824 and 1825, Moore, who had by then regained control of the archive, published a much more authoritative biography, which included material on other Wesley family members. It is important for its factual content and for its perspective on Wesley's career, but is uncritical to the point of being almost a panegyric. The exception was Wesley's early, pre-conversion life, which was treated somewhat negatively. Moore also published sermons (1830), an autobiography, and in 1817 a biography of the methodist, Mary Fletcher.
Moore continued to preach and to minister as an itinerant, mainly in England, until he finally retired in 1833 at the age of 83; he was president of the methodist conference in 1804 and 1823, and took a leading part in some of the controversies that afflicted the society; he was one of the eight senior men who met in secret at Lichfield in 1794. A scheme for governing the church based on superintendents of districts was proposed at the meeting; though this was arguably based on Wesley's ideas, Moore opposed it, and when at his insistence it was referred to conference, it was overwhelmingly rejected. Moore was also involved in acrimonious arguments with colleagues over Wesley's City Road chapel, in London, of which he had been left in control by Wesley. Even as late as 1834 an opponent noted how his furious speeches on the subject inflamed his hearers. Moore also remonstrated with conference on the vexed subject of ordination of ministers; Wesley had ordained him as a presbyter on 27 February 1784, by laying on of hands. Moore held that he was the last surviving minister so ordained, and that he should be acknowledged as the transmitter from the founder of the right to ordain others; conference held an opposing view.
To his great sorrow, his first wife died on 26 March 1813. Moore married secondly (August 1814) Mary Ann Hind (d. 1834). There were no children by either marriage. Two nieces lived with him. After suffering several strokes, he died in City Road, London, on 27 April 1844, and was buried in the graveyard of City Road chapel.