Benjamin Fell

Photo:Primitive Methodist Magazine 1905

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1905

Photo:Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918


By Geoff Dickinson

Early years

Benjamin was born on 29 October 1845 at Kilpin, nr Howden, East Yorkshire to parents Benjamin Fell and Sarah Horsley. His parents provided a home for the early preachers for forty years. His father was a class leader and worked as a shopkeeper.

Benjamin cited the date of his conversion as 18 March 1860. Three years later he became a local preacher. His first appointment to Epworth in February 1868 was to supply for a minister whose health had failed.


Benjamin served as District Committee Secretary in the Nottingham and Hull Districts and also as Building Committee Secretary in the Hull District.

Probably the most momentous event of his life happened in 1880, when he came into contact with Revs. Inskip, Macdonald and Wood, three American ministers, who visited in that year on a Holiness Mission. This provided a new and powerful stimulus for his work. Many other brethren shared his experience, and “An Association for the Promotion of Holiness” was formed. Benjamin became the first secretary, and for many years was its guiding genius.

His obituary records that in public life, Benjamin was distinguished as an evangelist, a pastor and an administrator. His knowledge of theology, grip of doctrine, clear and forceful teaching, presented in a pleasant and persuasive style, made his ministry not only vigorous but convincing.

Benjamin was a familiar figure at Conference, being six times elected by his districts to attend. He was Secretary of Conference in 1908.

On superannuating in 1913, Benjamin settled in Liverpool, joining the Price’s Avenue Church. He was called to serve the Liverpool IV circuit in the absence of Rev P.J. Fisher, who was called to Army service as a Chaplain.


Benjamin married Mary Ann Cooper (1842-1923) in the summer of 1872 at Halifax, Yorkshire. Census returns identify five of seven children.

  • Arthur Cooper (1874-1952) - a printer
  • Edith Mary (b1876)
  • Ernest (1878- - an insurance agent
  • Harry Percival (1880-1948) – a PM Minister
  • Mabel (1881-1882)

Benjamin died on 10 November 1917 at Liverpool, Lancashire.


  • 1868 Epworth
  • 1869 Grimsby
  • 1871 Doncaster I
  • 1872 Scotter
  • 1875 Scarborough
  • 1878 Hull I
  • 1882 Driffield
  • 1885 Hull III
  • 1890 Nottingham I
  • 1894 Weobly
  • 1897 Driffield
  • 1900 Hull I
  • 1903 Southport
  • 1907 Lancaster
  • 1910 St Helens
  • 1913 Liverpool (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1905/507; 1918/655

PM Minutes 1918/255

W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


This page was added by Geoff Dickinson on 27/01/2014.

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