William and Mary Ann Preece, Shrewsbury
new members in Castle Court
William Preece and Mary Ann Meredith were married in an Independent Chapel in the Clun area of Shropshire in 1856, but moved soon afterwards to Shrewsbury. Their names appear in several Primitive Methodist class meeting books over about 6 years from 1856, initially as members on trial.
William had died by the time the census was taken in 1861, and Mary Ann remarried a few years later. The last time she appears as Mary Ann Preece is in the class book is 1862.
Their daughter Emily, born 1857, married William Collett, and their son, William Alfred Richard Collett, b. 1881, married May Blackwell in the Primitive Methodist Church in Rocester, near Uttoxeter, where William A.R. had moved to take up an apprenticeship as a hairdresser. He later became a lay preacher with the Wesleyans, but died of T.B. in 1932. His widow received a letter from the Circuit Meeting in September of that year, which states ‘We could ill afford to lose one who exercised his ministry so faithfully and who continued that ministry even in the confined limits of a sick chamber…..We treasure with you the memory of a Christian gentleman…’.