Evangelical Protestantism emerged in Britain during the 1730s. The conversion of John Wesley in 1738 is often regarded as the beginning of the evangelical movement. Evangelicals like Wesley insisted on rigorous standards of personal conduct, frequent examination of conscience, the infallibility of the Bible, detailed Bible study and lay activity. Unwelcome in Church of England pulpits, Wesley was forced to preach out of doors and to eventually develop an organisation of his own. As well as the Wesleyan Methodists and Primitive Methodists, evangelicals came from older Nonconformist bodies such as the Congregationalists and Baptists.
At the end of the 18th century evangelicalism had spread to the Church of England. Charles Simeon at Cambridge University began encouraging the training of Evangelical clergymen. Simeon argued that there was a great need to raise moral enthusiasm and ethical standards among the clergy. The Clapham Sect, whose group included William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp, was another centre of the evangelical movement in the Anglican Church. Their primary interest was in the moral improvement of the working classes. This involved some evangelicals such as Lord Ashley and Michael Sadler becoming involved in the campaign against child labour. Evangelicals also played a important role in the Anti-Slavery movement and the Temperance Society. Wealthy individuals such as Angela Burdett-Coutts were inspired by the Evangelical movement to give away their money to good causes.
In 1848 saw the emergence of the Christian Socialist movement. Preachers such as Frederick Denison Maurice, Charles Kingsley and Thomas Hughes. began to influence many that Jesus Christ was the world first socialist. One of those who became convinced of this was James Keir Hardie, a trade union leader and lay preacher for the Evangelical Union Church. Later, Hardie was the become the founder of the Labour Party.