Female Preachers

A – B | C – G | H – M | N – S | T – W
Click above for lists of Female Travelling Preachers of Early Primitive Methodism.

Click here for an additional biographical appendix detailing a number of women who were active as travelling preachers before the Stations commenced in 1820.

The booklet Chosen by God: A list of the Female Travelling Preachers of Early Primitive Methodism evolved from research undertaken for a Ph.D. degree at the University of Birmingham. The first edition (1989) of the list was revised and extended in the second edition (2009).

The first part consists of those Female Travelling Preachers of Early Primitive Methodism who were actually included on the Stations of the Primitive Methodist Connexion. The second part is an Additional Biographical Appendix with information about hired local preachers, and includes a number of prominent local preachers and evangelists. Many itinerants’ wives were active in taking services and preaching, but in most cases it is not possible to identify whether they had previously been itinerants in their own right, had been local preachers or indeed were still so regarded. Some of the more frequently mentioned women are included in this list. Finally there were a number of other women who were named but could not be identified with any accuracy and these are named at the end of the document in the hope that more information may be forthcoming.

The research set out to explore the numbers, the role, the work and the influence of the female travelling preachers of early Primitive Methodism. It was a fascinating exercise, if at times a frustrating one, as early Primitive Methodism seemed to be much more concerned with evangelism than with preservation of records! It is certain that there is still more material to be discovered, but in the meantime this booklet is offered as a handy tool and as a starting point for those who might wish to continue the search.

It should perhaps be explained that, in more than a few instances, all that is known of the travelling preacher is her name and station or else a vague reference to a ‘Miss ______’ taking services or `labouring’ in a certain circuit. Then by careful checking in the Primitive Methodist Minutes it has been possible to identify the sex represented by an initial and surname. Material in Record Offices, though all too often simply recording salary payments, has also provided collaborative evidence for some of the names, and has, on occasion, given sidelights into the life and work of early Primitive Methodism. Contemporary and early local histories too have been found to provide most useful information. Thanks are due to the many friends who have generously passed on the details of women preachers they themselves have found during their own researches into Primitive Methodism.