Additional Biographical Appendix
There were a number of women who were active as travelling preachers before the Stations commenced in 1820, and some who were regarded as travelling preachers by their own circuits, if not by the Conference. More properly these latter would be designated as hired local preachers. The difference between travelling preachers and hired local preachers was:
one part are removable only by agreement of the circuits one with another or by agreement of one district with another, and these are called hired local preachers; the other part are removable by the Annual Meeting and are called travelling preachers. This is all the difference between them, in all other respects they are alike. [PM Mins. 1821, p.4, Q. & A.9]
The most important of these female hired local preachers, plus some very active local preachers and also some of the wives of itinerants, are listed here briefly, along with a few comments and major references.
The references relating to the entries are NOT included. The full list can be accessed in the book Chosen by God: A list of the Female Travelling Preachers of Early Primitive Methodism [Graham, E. Dorothy (2nd enlarged ed., 2010)] available from Wesley Historical Publications (WHS), 22 Broadway Road, Evesham, WR11 1BG England (e-mail: email@example.com), price £6.00 + p&p.
BARNSLEY, Elizabeth, (1832-1880) [Mrs Job Sellors]
She was born at Aldwick Grange, Bradburn, Derbyshire on 27th May 1832, the daughter of W. Barnsley, a local preacher in the Winster circuit. Elizabeth was converted about 1848. She became local preacher around 1850. In 1859 she married Job Sellors and they had seven children. The family moved to Buxton in 1863, where PM, having had a troubled history, was just becoming re-established and Elizabeth became a class leader, sick visitor, tract distributor as well as continuing to preach. She helped with the organisation of and attended the Nottingham District Meeting held in Buxton in May 1880. Elizabeth suffered ‘acute inflammation’ which proved fatal and she died on 27th May 1880. Her funeral, conducted by the WM minister, the Rev. J.T. Pilter, was held in the London Road PM chapel and she was buried in Burbage churchyard, mourned by her husband, children, elderly father and siblings.
PM Mag. (1882) pp. 208-09
A popular evangelist described as one of the foremost women preachers of her time she came from Huxley Cheshire. With the PM itinerant John Gill (Alston 1865-66) she conducted revivals in the Alston, Allandale, Allenheads and Penrith areas. She was in demand for special services.
BEST, Jane [Mrs John Curry] (1809-1850)
She was born at Washington Staith, county Durham on 11th August 1809 of poor but industrious parents. At the age of 15 Jane went to a PM camp meeting at Offerton and in 1831 was converted. In 1833 she became a local preacher being an effective scriptural preacher and also a useful class leader. On 18th May 1836 Jane married John Curry, aged 29, also a local preacher and they had one child. John was a corver (a maker of large baskets used in mines). After Jane’s death he remarried, but was killed in a mine accident on 8th June 1852.
PM Mag. (1850) pp.647-649
BIELBY, Mary (1811-1876)
Mary was born at Beverley on 18th December 1811. Converted at the age of 15 she joined the PMs and soon became a local preacher. In 1834 William Clowes persuaded her to become an itinerant and she worked, presumably as a hired local preacher, in the home Branch of the Hull Circuit and then in the Driffield Branch. The strain of the itinerancy forced her retirement. Mary married Matthew Denton (1810-1902) of Beverley, a butcher and PM local preacher, on 28th June 1835 at St John and St Martin Church, Beverley, Yorkshire. In one month during 1853 a typhus epidemic led to the death of two sons and a daughter and Mary suffered from depression. Towards the end of her life ill health took its toll and on Sunday, 5th March 1876 she died, aged 64. A funeral sermon was preached by the PM itinerant, Paul Peacock, in the PM Chapel, Beverley the following Sunday.
PM Mag. (1877) pp. 557-558 [written by husband]
Jane came from Nottingham and worked before the PM stations commenced. In 1820 she married George Nicholson, a WM local preacher, and continued to preach in WM chapels in Lincolnshire after her marriage.
BULMER, Mary (1870-1934+) [Mrs J.E. Leuty]
Born at Wylam in the parish of Tanfield, County Durham (c.1867/70) Mary was the daughter of Robert and Jane. She was educated at Tanfield Church School. In 1888 she went to Stanhope, Co. Durham, where she worked for three years as an evangelist or hired local preacher. Accredited as a local preacher in 1891 she conducted evangelical missions throughout the North-East of England from her teenage years. For five years (1899-1901; 1903-1906) Mary worked as a ‘ministerial substitute’ (hired local preacher) in the Stanley and Chester-le-Street Circuits, Co. Durham. On 8th August 1906 she married travelling preacher, John Edwin Leuty, a widower (1855-1945). Mary was very active in PM, locally and nationally, especially in the Women’s Missionary Federation and Christian Endeavour activities, and also, after the 1932 Union, in the Methodist Church. A hospital in Ituk Mban, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, West Africa, was named after her. She was the first woman delegate to the PM Conference in 1899 and the only invited woman speaker at the Centenary meetings at Mow Cop, 1910.
CARR, Ann (1785 – 1841)
Ann was born at Market Rasen, Lincolnshire on 4th March 1785, youngest of 12 children of Thomas and Rebecca Carr. She became a WM preacher and then a PM. Ann went to Leeds with Sarah (H)Eland (q.v.) where they caused controversy, because they would not accept circuit discipline. They seceded and around 1822 started the Female Revivalist Society and opened their own chapel (1825). Shortly before her death she made a will naming Martha Williams (q.v.) her executrix. Ann died of cancer on 18th January 1841 and was buried on the 21st in Woodhouse cemetery, Leeds.
CHAFFEUR, Clara (1805-1866)
Born in Eastringham, Yorkshire in 1805 and converted (c. 1830) in Mill Street chapel, Hull, Clara soon became a local preacher. She was appointed a travelling preacher to Patrington Branch of the Hull circuit, but was prevented from itinerating because of family commitments. She married Jeremiah Dodsworth (1812-1867), a PM itinerant, in 1836, and worked with him in all his stations. In 1864 she was diagnosed with cancer and on 30th July 1866 she stopped taking food or medicine, dying on 22nd August 1866 in Wakefield. They had three sons and a daughter, Elizabeth (Nettie), born 17th March 1841, who married Lewis Frederick Armitage, PM itinerant (1859-1903) – he joined the Church of Scotland in 1879. Elizabeth died on 4th November 1876.
PM Mag. (1867) pp. 167-69
CLARK, Jane Grundy (Mrs Richard Osmond) (1810-1896)
She was born in Bromham, near Devizes, Wiltshire on 18th February 1810. Her father belonged to the Church of England and her mother was a Quaker. Jane was converted by an evangelical Church of England clergyman and worked ‘in all the departments open to women’. In 1846 she married Richard Osmond, who was then living in Linkenholt, Hampshire (see Tasker & Osmond entries). He was a PM member and local preacher in the Andover Circuit, so Jane joined the PMs becoming an active local preacher. When Richard retired from farming the family moved to Bath in the spring of 1862. Both Richard and Jane served in the church there and preached widely throughout the district. Richard died in September 1865, but Jane continued his work. Their daughter, Alice, the wife of PM itinerant Murray Wilson (1828-1913), died on 22nd October 1891. Jane died on 31st December 1896.
PM Mag. (1897) pp.706-709
COOPER, Mary Ann (1826-1854)
Born in Nottingham in 1826 Mary Ann became a Sunday school teacher, class leader and local preacher. She worked as a hired local preacher in the Sleaford circuit for 15 months, but had to retire through ill health. She married Charles Clark, a local preacher in the Milford Branch of the Belper circuit. They had 3 children, but Mary Ann died on the Sunday, following the birth, on Saturday, 18th February 1854, of the last child. The baby was baptised and Mary Ann was buried on the Wednesday. Although family and friends wished to sing a hymn at the graveside the curate would not allow it so they sang outside the churchyard.
PM Mag. (1854) pp. 328-9
Elizabeth worked before the PM stations commenced. She came from Ashmore House, near Cloud, Derbyshire. Persuaded by Hugh Bourne to preach Elizabeth was a successful local preacher for many years, giving her first sermon on 30th April 1814. George Harvey (1803-1860) heard her preach and determined to make her his wife. They married on 3rd October 1837 and decided to join whichever Wm or PM was nearest. Soon after they married they lived at Dove House Farm, near Wyburnbury, Cheshire and joined WM chapel. In 1854 they moved to Oak Farm, Broomhall and joined the PMs. George became an assistant class leader and a local preacher, but because of poor health took few appointments. He died on 18th September 1860, aged 57.
DAVIS, Honor (1800 – 1857)
She was born at Oil Mills, near Stroud, Gloucestershire on 29th November 1800. Converted in 1823, Honor became a PM member and then local preacher. She worked as a hired local preacher for three months in the Pillawell, Bristol and Frome circuits and continued as a local preacher for 15 years. She died on February 3rd 1857 after six months illness.
PM Mag. (1857) pp. 260-261
DUNNELL, Mary, Mrs. (fl.1807-1813)
WM evangelist she worked with Camp Meeting Community as first female preacher before the establishment of PM. She caused trouble in the Derbyshire mission.
EDDEN, Harriet [Mrs William Sapcoat] ( ? – 1869)
She was born at Wellesborne, Warwickshire, the daughter of William and Sarah. While Harriet was still a child the family moved to Stratford-upon-Avon. Harriett was converted during a PM mission conducted by William Turner. At the age of 14 she was appointed by the circuit to ‘supply the country congregations with the word of life’. She proved to be very popular and useful, making many converts. Sometime after 1842 she married William Sapcoat (1807-1872), a PM itinerant, who was then serving in the Bury St Edmunds circuit. Her husband superannuated in 1863 and they settled in Melton Mowbray. Unfortunately, Harriet suffered from epileptic fits and after a very serious attack on Saturday, 16th October 1869 she died on the following Tuesday. She was buried in the Dissenters burying ground at Melton Mowbray on 22nd October.
PM Mag. (1870) p. 428; (1873) p. 746 – [husband’s obituary]
Worked before the PM stations commenced.
She was born at Hutton Rudby, North Yorkshire and converted in 1802. Sarah met Ann Carr (q.v.) in 1818 in Hull and she worked in Hull area with John and Sarah Harrison (nee Kirkland qv) pre-stations. She travelled as a preacher for five years. In 1824 Sarah married John de Putron, (1789-1859) a WM minister, and they went to serve in the Channel Islands.
ELLIOTT, Elizabeth (1810-1825)
Born in Bristol in 1810 Elizabeth was converted in 1824, becoming a local preacher. She was described as an excellent speaker and made many converts, although having to face much persecution. At 2.00 p.m. on 17th April 1825 she preached at Porthywaen (Shropshire) and on Saturday, 23rd, just before 2.00 p.m., she started to walk to her Sunday appointment needing to cross a river beyond Pant. Unfortunately, the ferryman, who should have crossed below a chain fence, which was in position to prevent cattle straying, set off above it. The force of the current capsized the boat, drowning both Elizabeth and the ferryman’s wife. Her body was not found until Monday evening. Elizabeth was just 15 years and 3 months when she died.
PM Mag. (1825) pp. 409-13
She was described as a ‘lady evangelist employed September 1832 – March 1833 and apparently caused trouble [unspecified] in the Silsden circuit. Could the Eliza Fletcher who was ‘received into the professional ministry’ in 1842 in America be the same person?
FRANK, Ann (1814-1895) [Mrs John Swales]
Ann was born at Hutton-le-Hole, near Kirby Moorside in August 1814 and converted at around the age of 18 (1833). She became a PM member despite family opposition, though they later joined her. Before long, although very diffident, Ann was persuaded to speak in public. However, she became a very successful local preacher for over 60 years. For a number of years Ann’s friend, Alice Jane Garvin, who led the singing, accompanied her to her services. When Ann married John Swales (date unspecified) they moved to Lockton, where they worked hard to build a PM chapel in the village. On moving to Pickering Ann continued to work as a local preacher and in many other organizations in the chapel. She died on 4th February 1895, leaving three children. Her funeral took place on 7th February, conducted by the local PM itinerants, Isaiah Potts and William Fidoe. A memorial service conducted by Potts was held in Pickering chapel on Sunday 10th February. Her son John (1845-1923) was a PM itinerant, her daughter Mary was the wife of another PM itinerant William Alfred Eyre (1851-1930) and her other daughter was Mrs William Tate of Pickering.
The PM World, February 1895
FURNESS, Elizabeth (fl 1826)
Nothing further is known of her, except that she was called out by the Carlisle PM Circuit at the Quarterly Meeting on 27th March 1826 and served for two quarters, presumably as a hired local preacher, before resigning. She received the connexional travelling preachers’ stipend of £2.2s. 0d.
GRAYSHAW, Elizabeth [Mrs MORTIMER] (1823-1878)
She was born at Shipley on 21st December 1823, where her father was a WM local preacher. Elizabeth joined the PMs and received her first membership ticket in February 1837. She became a local preacher in the Bradford circuit in September 1839 and a hired local preacher in 1841, working chiefly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in the Market Rasen, Swinefleet, Pateley Bridge and Silsden circuits. She returned to Shipley, married Mr J. Mortimer and served as a local preacher, class leader, Sunday school teacher and temperance worker. Elizabeth was taken ill at Christmas and, after considerable suffering, died at home in St Paul’s Road, Shipley on 3rd February 1877, leaving her husband and eight children. Following her funeral service at Shipley Chapel she was buried in St Paul’s churchyard.
PM Mag. (1878) pp. 692-693
HADFIELD, Mary (1812-1868) [Mrs C. Hallam]
Mary was born at Rowarth, Derbyshire on 1st July 1812 into a strict Anglican family. Although her family was opposed to the marriage she married Christopher Hallam, (1808-1873), PM travelling preacher, on 10th December 1837. She was a very popular preacher, greatly in demand for revival services during the early years of her marriage. Records show that, in 1840, the Hallams had one child, aged 4 months. In later years Mary was more connected with anniversary services. She died on 24th December 1868. Her son, John Hallam, was a PM itinerant (1840-1913) and President in 1890.
PM Mag. (1869) pp. 552-553
HAWKESLEY, Mrs. Mary
Mary was regarded as the second female travelling preacher of early PM. Her husband was a soldier. She was taken out by Hugh Bourne (1813) and worked before the PM stations commenced. Mary was designated on the 1818 Nottingham PM plan by initials, not by name, and also was not included in the list of preachers.
HOWSON, Ann (1809-1890/1) [Mrs John Hirst]
Ann, daughter of Robert and Sarah, was born at Darlington 11th January 1809 into a Quaker family, and educated at Ackworth, the Quaker School. At the age of 16 she heard the PM preachers. On 15th June 1831 she married John Hirst (1803-1889), a PM itinerant, in Leeds, without the consent of her parents.* In 1835, when her husband was stationed in the Penrith Mission (Malton Circuit), she read a sermon because her husband was delayed by a snowstorm and, as there was a shortage of local preachers, she allowed her name to be put on the plan. Records show that, in 1840, they had 3 children and John had retired, in 1861, as an itinerant in Sheffield I Circuit. In the 1881 census John is listed as a supernumerary minister when they were living at 18 Harwood St., Eccleshall, Yorkshire. Ann took her last service at John St Chapel, Sheffield V Circuit in July 1884. She was engaged as a Bible reader by Norfolk St Mission in July 1884. Ritson says she did 20 years as Bible woman in Sheffield after supernannuation [presumably her husband’s in 1861]. Ann was suddenly taken ill on 7th June and died on 10th June in 82nd year of her age. She had nine children, with 2 grandsons being itinerants and 2 granddaughters married to WM missionaries. N.B. Her husband’s obituary gives the date as 13th June 1830 and the place of the marriage as Leeds Parish Church.
PM Mag. (1892) pp. 690-93
HUGHES, Martha (Mrs Joseph Timmins) (1830-1870)
Martha was born on 29th March 1830, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Hughes, formerly of Llanllwynd Farm, in the valley of the Tame. She was from a large and industrious family and while at boarding school was religiously inclined. In 1847 the PMs from the Presteign Circuit started to hold services at Brookhouse. Two PM chapels were built in the 1929 revival and Martha was converted. She and some of her family joined the Brookham society. Around 1850, against her will and without her consent Martha was put on the Presteign preachers’ plan as an exhorter. She ‘took up her cross’ and often rode on horseback across ‘wild and rugged Radnorshire’, meeting with considerable success. In 1859 she married PM itinerant, Joseph Timmins (1829-1889) and worked with him in all his circuits. For two years Martha suffered from consumption, dying on 2nd April 1870. She was buried in the Congregational Chapel yard and PM itinerant Charles Smallman preached her funeral sermon in Ludlow PM Chapel on 17th April 1870.
PM Mag. (1871) pp. 238-240
JACKSON, Selina [Mrs Shimwell; Mrs Richard Llewelyn] (1827-1886)
Born at Denby, near Ripley, Derbyshire on 5th September 1827 Selina was converted and became a PM member in 1843. She became a local preacher in 1846 and then a hired local preacher, serving in the Melton Mowbray (1847); Winster (1848); Earl Shilton (1849) circuits. She first married a Mr Shimwell and after his death [date unknown] Richard Llewelyn, a local preacher, in Birmingham in 1875. They went to live in 39 High Street, Buxton in 1879. Selina suffered from heart trouble. She caught a cold after attending the Manchester District camp meeting held at Buxton in May 1886 and died on 19th October. She was buried in the old churchyard at Youlgrave, Derbyshire.
PM Mag. (1888) p. 242
JERROM, Catherine (1804-1869)
Catherine was born at Lambourne Woodlands, Berkshire in 1804. Her mother died when she was 3 years old, so she was looked after by her grandmother for 8 years, before returning to live with her father at Wilcott, where he was clerk to the church. When the WMs visited the village Catherine attended their services, but her father refused to let her become a member. In 1828 she married William Jerrom of Bucklebury Alley, near Newbury. Two years later William became very ill and Catherine, through reading the Bible to him, became deeply impressed. When the PMs missioned the village William opened his house for preaching and prayer meetings and a society was formed. Catherine was converted and began to exhort, becoming a local preacher. She continued for as long as her health permitted and assisted with the opening of many places in the area and in the Newbury and Reading circuits. On one occasion she was invited to preach for the WMs and her father, sister and brother-in-law attended and before long were converted. Her sister opened her home for preaching and gave hospitality to the preachers in the Marlborough Branch of the Newbury Circuit. Life was difficult as Catherine suffered from ill health for about 9 years, while William had been blind for many years. Catherine died at Bucklebury Common on 26th February 1860, aged 56.
PM Mag. (1860) pp. 331-32
KIRKLAND, Sarah (1794-1880)
Sarah was born at Mercaston, Derbyshire, the daughter of Rowland Kirkland. The family were WMs and Sarah was converted in 1811. She started to preach in 1813/1814. Sarah was regarded as first female travelling preacher of early PM, although she was never actually stationed by the Connexion as she retired before the first Conference. She was designated on the 1818 Nottingham PM plan by initials, but not included in the list of preachers. Sarah engaged in many evangelistic missions and drew crowds who were attracted buy the novelty of a female preacher. She married John Harrison (1795/6-1821), a fellow travelling preacher, at Bingham, Nottinghamshire, on 17th August 1818. Together they worked in the Hull area. John became ill in November 1819 and they both retired in May 1820. John died on 22nd July 1821, aged 25. In February 1825 Sarah married William Bembridge, a fellow local preacher, and continued as a local preacher and class leader until her death. William died in January 1880 and Sarah died on 4th March the same year. She was buried in Mugginton churchyard and a memorial service held at Mercaston Chapel.
PM Mag. (1881) passim
KNOWLES, H. M., [Mrs], (fl. 1829-?)
She was the wife of William Knowles (fl. 1824-1831), PM itinerant. William was one of the first missionaries sent to America, with Ruth Watkins, in 1829. It is obvious that she worked as a preacher alongside her husband and journals and reports were signed by both of them. Unfortunately, only her initials ‘H.M.’ are ever given. It is very possible that she was a preacher – an itinerant, hired local preacher or local preacher – before they went to America, but she cannot be definitely identified.
LAWLEY, Sarah (Mrs) (1812-1852)
Converted at 13 by preaching of John Smith Sarah joined the PM society at Hire Heath. She became an assistant class leader and was a local preacher for 20 years (started c. 1832). Occasionally Sarah acted as a travelling preacher and was successful in building up the church. Prior to the birth of her child she was very weak and died two hours after the birth (11th May 1852), aged 40. She was buried in the graveyard at Butler’s Bank Chapel (Prees Green Circuit) on Friday, 14th and on Sunday, 16th a memorial service was conducted by PM itinerant, James Arnold.
PM Mag. (1852) p. 507
MASLIN, Harriet [Mrs George Wallis] (?- 1852)
Harriet was the daughter James Maslin of Ramsbury, Wiltshire. Her parents were WMs and sent their children to Sunday school, but Harriet was attracted to the PMs when they visited the village and at the age of eleven joined them. She had a fine voice and soon gave a public exhortation at Ewen’s Hill. She became a local preacher on trial on the Shefford Plan in September 1834. Harriet married George Wallis (1810-1894), a PM itinerant, on 30th October 1837. He was the superintendent minister in the circuit from 1832-37, when he moved to Andover, which had been originally a branch of the Shefford circuit. She continued as a local preacher and Sunday school teacher in all the circuits in which they served. After considerable suffering Harriet died on 9th November 1852, leaving her husband and four children.
PM Mag. (1853) pp. 264-268
MASON, Mary ( ? -1868) [Mrs Potts]
Mary was the daughter of William and Sarah of Brimfield, Herefordshire, who were described as respectable, moral, church going farmers. In 1835 Mary became acquainted with her husband, Mr Potts. In 1835 or 1836 she went to the PM chapel at Presteign and was converted. Going to live at Wyson in the Ludlow Circuit she became a leader and prayer leader. In 1842 Hannah Petty (q.v.) was working in the circuit as a hired local preacher and she persuaded Mary to become a local preacher. She was an effective preacher, who often took her young baby with her to her appointments. The family moved to Cliffs Farm, near Tenbury Wells in 1849 and as there was no PM society there she started one. Her strength began to fail in 1861. She died on 11/12th February 1868 and was buried on Saturday, 16th February 1868.
PM Mag. (1868) p. 555
MAYLARD, Elizabeth [Mrs] (1817-1861)
Born in Reading on 27th September 1817, Elizabeth was converted by (‘Rev’) J(ohn) Sherman. She was governor of a village school at Whitley. She received appointments on the preachers’ plan in company with Miss Elizabeth Herridge, later wife of John Sharp (1820-1895). Although she faced persecution she persevered, preaching in an expository, but ladylike manner. She preached to a large congregation at a camp meeting on Burghfield Common, near Reading, in 1841. In 1844 Elizabeth married John Maylard (1816-1896), a PM travelling preacher. She preached in all the circuits in which her husband served. Elizabeth died on 20th December 1861.
PM Mag. (1862) p. 325
PM Mag. (1860) p. 745
PM Mins (1897) p. 23 & The PM (newspaper) (1896) p. 573 [husband’s obituary]
From prison to pulpit – (Life of John Maylard)
McCREE, Euphemia [Mrs John Charlton]
The daughter of a Presbyterian merchant, Thomas McCree, she was probably born in the early 1800s in the Newcastle-on-Tyne area. Euphemia was an active PM local preacher (or maybe a hired local preacher) preaching in the pit villages of Northumberland. She influenced her brother, George Wilson McCree, who, after being briefly a PM evangelist, joined the Baptist church and worked among the poor in London. Around 1840 Euphemia married John Charlton of Blaydon-on-Tyne.
McDOWELL, Mary, (1814-1892) [Mrs G. Ridley]
Born in Harras Moor, near Whitehaven, West Cumberland on 18th December 1814, Mary came from a working class family. She had been crippled by a fall in childhood. Her father died when she was young and, on the re-marriage of her mother, Mary was brought up by her grandmother. She was converted in 1828 at the age of 14 and two years later became a local preacher in the Whitehaven Circuit. When she was 20 years old Mary was sent to Alston to act as a ‘travelling preacher or evangelist’ – as she is not listed on the PM Stations presumably she was a ‘hired local preacher’, so for 15 or 16 years she was virtually a travelling preacher. Then she did evangelistic work throughout the Border counties. She married George Ridley, a lead miner, and had three children. Her husband was killed in Bishop Auckland in a mining accident in the 1860s. Around 1870 Mary went to live at Crosby Villa, before moving to Prospect, Cumberland where her two sons were also killed in mining accidents. Her daughter had married and was living in County Durham. Mary continued to take services in the Maryport Circuit until December 1891. She died, aged 77, at Prospect on 17th August 1892 and was buried in Aspatria Congregational cemetery. A memorial service was held in the Prospect Chapel on 22nd August 1892. A tribute to her as a local preacher was printed in the West Cumberland Times.
PM Mag. (1894) pp. 994-95
Ann worked before the PM stations commenced.
MOODY, Sarah [Mrs]
Gifted, earnest, renowned preacher in the Scotter area in 1850s.
MORLEY, Hannah (1820-1862) [Mrs S. G. Butterwick; Mrs G. Butterwick]
She was born in High Harrogate on 22nd February 1820 into a godly Church of England family. Converted in 1840 Hannah joined the WM society in Harrogate and engaged in public religious exercises, especially as a prayer leader. In the summer of 1844 she married Samuel George Butterwick ( 1808-1859), PM itinerant, and became a PM. When her husband was stationed in Guisborough (1856) Hannah was put on the preachers’ plan and when her husband was ill she often took his appointments, as she had done in a previous circuit. During the religious revival in Guisborough she was very useful in building up converts and had a large class. One year after her husband’s death on 13th December 1859, she went to Newcastle-on-Tyne with her surviving 5 children and very soon married George Butterwick, a PM widower with an equal number of children. After a short severe fever she died on 8th September 1862.
PM Mag. (1863) pp. 331-333
NICHOLLE, Susannah (1810-1849) [Mrs Edward Nicholle]
She was born at Bromyard, Herefordshire on 6th April 1810. When the PMs from the Cwm circuit visited Bromyard they faced persecution from noisy musicians, but conducted their mission with zeal and energy, renting a room and opening it for services on 4th August 1833. Susannah became a PM member and was soon called to be a local preacher. She often took 10-12 appointments each quarter, travelling many miles to her services. All her family became Christians and her father a PM. The family were stalwarts of the Bromyard PM society. In July 1837 Susannah married Edward Nicholle, a PM itinerant, who was stationed in Bromyard in 1843-1846. She continued to preach in all the circuits in which he served as well as leading a class. At the beginning of June 1849 Susannah became ill with pulmonary consumption and died on 28th October, leaving a husband and son. Edward disappears from the PM stations in 1852.
PM Mag. (1850) pp. 131
OSMOND, Elizabeth Jane (1812-1878) [Mrs Robert Tasker]
Elizabeth, the daughter of Richard and Alice, was born on 6th January 1812, in the neighbourhood of Whitchurch, Hampshire. The family were influential farmers and belonged to the Church of England. When their family was young they moved to Linkenholt, Hampshire. In 1831 the PMs missioned the area and her brother Michael was converted. He influenced his siblings and eventually Elizabeth Jane became a PM member at Upton. She was converted at a meeting conducted by PM itinerant Edward Bishop. Despite opposition from her father she became a very active local preacher on the Andover circuit plan and continued her work after her marriage in 1845 to Robert Tasker, who predeceased her. She was confined to bed for the last seven years of her life. She gave generously, but anonymously. She died on 15th October 1878 after a short but severe illness. PM itinerant, Thomas Cummin conducted her funeral. PM itinerant Stephen (1818-1881) was her brother.
PM Mag. (1880) pp. 310-311
PARFET, Eliza (1809-1828)
She was born at White Cross, Mere, Wiltshire on 1st December 1809. Converted in 1827, Eliza became a local preacher by Christmas that year. Although she was regarded as a travelling preacher in the Motcombe circuit (31st March 1828), presumably in reality, she was a hired local preacher until appointed on the Stations; but she died before she could be stationed officially. Her last sermon was at White Cross on Monday, 30th June 1828. She became ill on 1st August, died on the 6th and was buried on 19th in Enmore Green Chapel burying ground, Motcombe.
PM Mag. (1829) pp. 274-276
PARROTT, Elizabeth (1786-1871) [Mrs G. Herod]
Elizabeth was born at Basford, East Bridgford, near Nottingham on 26th February 1796, the daughter of WM parents. She went to Nottingham to work for a year where she attended a class. When the PMs missioned the area, she, her brother and her future husband were converted by a sermon preached by Sarah Kirkland (qv) in March 1817. A class, of which her father became leader, was formed. Elizabeth married George Herod on 21st April 1819. Then he unexpectedly decided to become a PM travelling preacher (1797-1862). She was a local preacher, a class leader and sick visitor for many years, supporting her husband in all his circuits. Elizabeth suffered from bronchitis for two years before her own death, but continued to lead her class. She died at Helmshore, Haslingden Circuit on 15th January 1871 and was buried at Foxhill Bank Chapel beside the grave of her child.
PM Mag. (1872) pp. 177-179
PARROTT, Hannah [Mrs Smith]
Regarded as a travelling preacher – pre-stations. She married Mr. Smith of Goxhill.
PERRETT, Martha Jane (1856/7 – 1934+)
Born on 27th July 1856 or 1857 in Torquay, Devon, Martha Jane was the daughter of Frederick George Newton Perrett of Somerton, Somerset, (described as a descendant of Sir Isaac Newton) and Agnes Hannaford of Staverton. She was educated at a private school in Torquay and a boarding school in St Neot(s). Between 1880-1897 she was ‘the proprietress of a private school’. Martha Jane became a local preacher in 1885 or 1887. In 1895 Martha Jane went to take charge of a church in Halifax and the following year she was called by the Missionary Committee to travel in the capacity of Organizer of Women’s Missionary Auxiliaries in the churches and then became Connexional Sunday school Evangelist in 1898. From 1914 she spent considerable time on S. Yorks Coalfield, organizing and establishing Church and SS work in new areas, viz. Edlington, Maltby and adjacent villages. Her last sphere of work was the pastorate of Warley, Essex, PM Church in 1921. Last address: Madeira Villa, Hull Road, Withersea, Yorks.
PETTY, Hannah (1804 – 1844)
Born at Salterford, Yorkshire on 31st March 1804, Hannah was the youngest daughter of Micah, a tailor, and Mary. Converted in 1824 she joined the PMs and became a local preacher (1825/6) preaching her first sermon at Barley, Lancashire. She was unable to become a travelling preacher because of her aged mother, but when she died Hannah became a hired local preacher (July 1828 – March 1843). Unfortunately, ill health forced her to retire. She died at Burland on 26th January 1844. John Petty (1807-1868), PM travelling preacher, who was the PM editor (1851-7) and President (1860), was her brother.
PM Mag. (1844) pp. 283-287
PHILLIPS, MARY ANN ( ? – 1870) [Mrs T. Proctor; Mrs W. Towler]
She was born in Cwm, Herefordshire, the eldest daughter of James Phillips. Her father died when she was young, leaving the mother with two sons and three daughters. When the PM missionaries visited Cwm in 1824 Mrs Phillips welcomed them, first holding meetings in her kitchen and then giving them a piece of land for a chapel. Mary was persuaded to become a preacher. Thomas Proctor (1802-1829), PM travelling preacher was sent to the area in 1825 and he and Mary Ann married (date unknown). When Thomas’ health deteriorated he went to rest in his native Yorkshire in October 1827, but unfortunately died on 24th November. In June 1830 Mary Ann married another itinerant, William Towler (? – 1846), and on 17th December 1845 they embarked for New York, arriving on 24th January 1896. In October he went to Canada, but on his return in November became ill and died on 4th December. Mary Ann took his services when he was ill and later preached in Canada. She returned to England in December 1967 and died on 27th July 1870.
PM Mag. (1871) p. 309
POWELL, Priscilla, (1828 – 1885) [Mrs Mason]
She was born at Haven, Dilwyn, Herefordshire on 25th September 1828, daughter of Thomas and Hannah (nee Croswell) and was baptised on 28th September 1828 at Dilwyn. She became a PM member in 1839, but was not converted until 23rd February 1845. She became a local preacher (June 1847) on the Leominster and Weobley circuit plan. She then took the preaching appointments of Reuben Brown, (1815-1891) the travelling preacher, when he became ill (April-August 1850), but her health gave way and she returned home to rest. After she recovered she acted as a hired local preacher (December 1856), but had to retire though ill health on 6th July 1857. In August 1862 she married Thomas Mason and went to live at Bank, near Longtown in Cwm Circuit and continued to preach occasionally. Later they moved to Bromyard. Priscilla died on 28th August 1885 aged 57. In the 1881 census Thomas is recorded as being aged 44, born at Little Hereford, a corn dealer and farmer, while Priscilla’s age is given as 50, and the family consisted of two daughters, aged 17 (Hannah E.) and 16 (Ellen P.), both born in Clodock, (near Longtown), Herefordshire, and two sons, aged 12, (Arthur T.) and 10 (Edwin C.), both born in Bromyard. Their address is listed as High Street and the census place as Bromyard.
PM Mag. (1887) pp. 177-178
Hired local preacher in the Shropshire area.
RIDDLE, Grace [Mrs] (1797-1870)
She was born in Redruth, Cornwall on 29th November 1797. At around 12 years of age Grace was converted at a WM prayer meeting and became a member. Soon afterwards she moved to Calstock, Devon, where she was encouraged to give exhortations in prayers meetings and occasionally ‘filled the office of preacher when there was a vacancy’. After several years Grace returned to Redruth and when the PMs conducted a revival there in 1830/1 she joined them. She became an acceptable local preacher in the Redruth and other circuits, serving until her health failed. In 1840/1 Grace was a Sunday school class leader and when, in 1850/1 the local church was struggling she encouraged the people to pray for revival. She died on 19th September 1870.
SANSOM, Eliza (1820-1852) [Mrs Haycock]
Eliza was born at Stroud, Gloucestershire, the daughter of William and Ann. Her mother was a Baptist, so at first Eliza was too, but then became a PM. She was regarded as a travelling preacher, but presumably was a hired local preacher, who travelled in the Brinkworth, Morton (in-the Marsh?) and Banbury circuits. She married Edward Haycock in 1842 and they lived in the Banbury circuit. She continued to take appointments when family commitments allowed. Although she was a committed PM she often joined the WMs at Wardlington. She had three children, but died following the birth of a son, 2nd August 1852.
PM Mag. (1852) pp. 645-646
SMITH, Dorothy (1811-1869) [Mrs J. A. Bastow]
Dorothy was born at Denton, Lancashire on 19th October 1811, the daughter of George and Mary Smith. The family moved to Hunslet, near Leeds when Dorothy was young and she was taken to the WM Sunday School. Her mother was a WM member, but opened her house to the PMs when they visited the area. Dorothy ‘obtained salvation’ at around the age of 9 at a PM prayer meeting held in her parents’ home. As she was attending the WM Sunday school she became a WM member for several years. On occasion she stayed in Leeds at the home of her brother-in-law, Mr John Reynard, who entertained PM preachers. Here she met Hugh Bourne and William Clowes. Dorothy joined the PMs in 1830 and received a ‘note to preach’ from the Leeds circuit in 1831 and in the September went to the Ripon circuit as a hired local preacher. In 1835 she married James Austin Bastow (1810-1894), a PM itinerant. She suffered a paralytic stroke in July 1865 when they were stationed at Darlington, but her condition worsened in 1869, while they were at Gateshead and she died on 22nd November 1869 in her 59th year. Dorothy was buried in Tynemouth General Cemetery near to the grave of her infant daughter.
PM Mag. (1871) p. 47-48
SPOOR, Jane (1815-1878) [Mrs R. Cook]
Jane was born on 2nd May 1815 at Whickham, near Gateshead, the eldest daughter of William, a ‘keelman’, (working on the River Tyne) and Catherine (nee Dunn)¸ she was baptised on 17th September 1815 at Whickham. As the eldest of nine children she had little education. Jane was influenced by the preaching of Jane Suddard(s) (nee Ansdale q.v) and converted c. 1827 in the WM chapel at Swalwell, together with her brother Joseph and Thomas Jobling (both of whom became PM itinerants). They all became PMs and were put on the Newcastle-on-Tyne circuit plan as exhorters in December 1830. When Joseph was stationed in the Darlington circuit Jane received a call to work there and did so for nearly nine months, presumably as a hired local preacher, but the strain was too great. As both parents had died she had family commitments, but continued as a local preacher and class leader. She married Ralph Cook of Ballast Hills, Newcastle-on-Tyne, on 22nd April 1837 at All Saints Church, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Jane was badly injured in a train accident in 1869 and later suffered from creeping paralysis. She died on 25th March 1878.
PM Mag. (1880) pp. 118-119
STOKES, Ann (Mrs Ibbott) (1817-1861)
Ann, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Stokes, was born at Chatteris in the Ely Circuit on 26th October 1817, where her father was a class leader. She read widely, as she had to stay at home to look after the younger children because she suffered from weak ankles. In 1835 she went to a camp meeting, conducted by James Langham, at Hoot in the Upwell Circuit and was converted at the evening lovefeast. She became a PM member at Chatteris and an assistant class leader, having a natural talent and good schooling. In 1846 Ann became a local preacher, enjoying great acceptability and success, but difficulty in walking meant she had to take services locally. She suffered with her heart for about 9 years, but was only confined to bed in the last week of her life. Ann died on Wednesday, 24th July 1861 and 700 people attended her funeral on the following Sunday.
PM Mag. (1861) pp. 712-713
Hannah worked, presumably as a hired local preacher, in the Burton Trent area. On 13th September 1825 she was paid 6s. 6d. for two weeks and the 12th December accounts record that she received £2. 2s. 0d. – the going quarterly rate for a female travelling preacher. The accounts for 9th June 1828 record the same payment plus £2.7s. 1d. for her meat bill.
SWINTON, Elizabeth, Mrs (1776-1853)
She was born at Thurby, Lincolnshire on 22nd April 1776. Her father was a member of the Anglican Church, but her mother’s family came from the Society of Friends. Elizabeth was brought up in the Anglican Church, however, when she was around 38 she was influenced by the WMs and converted. She married Isaac Swinton (date unknown). When the PMs visited Swinderby she joined them, soon becoming a very effective local preacher. After a short illness she died on 17th March 1853 aged 77 and was buried in St Botolph’s Churhyard. A tablet commemorating her and her husband was erected in Portland Place chapel.
PM Mag. (1853) pp. 455-456
TACEY, Rachel, (1804-1846) [Mrs Jonathan Tims]
Rachel was born at Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire in March or April 1804. Her mother died when she was only five years old. When young she lived with her sister and helped look after her family. In 1819 she heard the PMs and became a member. In 1822 she became a local preacher and continued to take services for twenty-one and a half years. In June 1826 Rachel married PM itinerant Jonathan Tims (1800-1878), brother of PM female itinerant, Rebecca Tims (q.v.). Jonathan’s obituary states that ‘he had one of the best wives that ever fell to the lot of man, a wife who could preach either in the chapel or street, who could lead a class and who at the same time could guide the house, train and care for her children and make 6d in household management do the work of half-a-crown.’ Rachel, Jonathan and others faced a mob in Bishops Castle, where Jonathan held their eldest baby daughter in his arms while Rachel preached. A son was born on 23rd August 1846, but her health deteriorated. She died on 13th October and was buried in Oswestry, leaving Jonathan with seven children. He received a funeral allowance of £5.0.0 from the PM Itinerant Preachers’ Friendly Society and from 1850 quarterly allowances for his children. His health suffered at the loss of his wife and he superannuated in 1849 and returned home to Leicester, where he died on 18th March 1878.
PM Mag. (1847) pp. 8-9
TASKER, Jane (Mrs Joseph Hill) (1822-1857)
The daughter of Thomas and Martha Tasker, Jane was born at Selby, Yorkshire in 1822. She was converted by the PMs around 1838 and became a useful and popular preacher (16 years), and prayer leader. Although Jane found preaching stressful she travelled widely in the PM Connexion. However, after her marriage to Joseph Hill the demands of her family and increasing ill health meant her public work decreased, but she was a class leader at Howden. Following a lingering consumption Jane died on 9th August 1857 leaving her husband and four children. John Burroughs, the PM itinerant, preached her funeral sermon at Selby.
PM Mag. (1857) pp. 648-50
THATCHER, Mary (1810-1846) [Mrs Taphouse]
She was born on 7th May 1810 at Shefford, Berkshire. While living with her sister, Mrs Copelin, a leader and preacher, at Crowmarsh in the Wallingford Branch of the Shefford Circuit, Mary was converted in 1834. In 1836 and 1837 she was working in the Mitcheldever Circuit ‘discharging the duties of an itinerant preacher’, presumably as a hired local preacher, and local records show a deficiency in her salary in 1837. She converted her husband, Mr. Taphouse (either Thomas or Charles), and they worked together as local preachers for nine years. She died on Monday, 9th March 1846 after three months illness, leaving her husband and two children.
PM Mag. (1846) pp. 386-87
WILLIAMS, Martha (1787- ?)
Martha was born in Nottingham in 1787 and converted around the age of 12. She began to preach in 1819 and was associated with Ann Carr (q.v.) and Sarah (H)E(a)land (q.v.), particularly in Leeds.
WILSON, Rose Ann (1821-1874)
She was the younger sister of Jane Garbutt, who wrote Reminiscences of the Early Days of PM in Hull (Hull, 1886). Converted in 1834, Rose Ann became a Sunday school teacher and visitor, a class leader and local preacher. She was an evangelist in the extensive Hull circuit, preaching especially at Sunday school and chapel anniversaries. She died in Hull in 1874.
There were a number of other women who were named as preaching/taking services frequently. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to identify these with any accuracy, so some are listed here in the hope that information about them may be forthcoming in due course.
Miss E. Barnsley (Derbyshire)
Sister Birch (Norwich branch)
Mrs Deacon (Newbury)
Mrs Fryar (Shropshire)
Mrs E. Grice (West Bromwich)
Mrs Lee (Brinkworth/Oxfordshire area) [probably the itinerant’s wife]
Mrs Osmond (Newbury)
Sister Pelch (1834 great revival at Manea)
Miss Ricketts (Brinkworth)
Miss Stratton (Newbury)
Miss Wilson of London/Miss Wilson of Northampton
[Could these be the same person? Could the references refer to Ann Wilson (itinerant list) or R. A. Wilson (additional list)?]