Allison, William (1842-1917)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W.E. Farndale

At the age of seventy-five, Alderman William Allison, of Birtley, passed to his eternal rest. For twenty-five years he had been a member of the Durham County Council, and County Alderman for nine, whilst as local preacher and Sunday school teacher he had served for upwards of fifty years. Quiet intensity, unswerving loyalty, and marked conscientiousness characterised every phase of his activities. To him the Primitive Methodist Church was inexpressibly dear. With constant generosity he supported the cause which to him meant so much. Right up to the last, and despite growing infirmities, he persisted in attendance at the means of grace.

The memorial service held at the Birtley Church was attended by a crowded congregation, including representatives from various public bodies and different churches. After an address by the Rev. W.E. Farndale, a few words were added by the Rev. Wm. Gelley, an old friend, in warm appreciation of Mr. Allison’s sterling character, and of his work at Ouston, prior to his removal to Birtley. The Revs. J.S. Nightingale, J. Jopling, G.W. King and J.G. Soulsby also took part in the service.


William was born in 1842 at Birtley, Co. Durham, to parents James, a coal miner (1861), and Elizabeth.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1851 scholar
  • 1861 coal miner
  • 1871 coal miner
  • 1881 coal miner
  • 1891 colliery owner
  • 1901 brick maker & colliery owner
  • 1911 brick manufacturer

He married Elizabeth Richardson (1849-1930) in the spring of 1867 in the Houghton le Spring Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify four of eight children.

  • John (1869-1889)
  • Francis James (1873-1968) – a coal trade agent (1911)
  • William (1876-1890)
  • Robert (1881-1962) – a tinsmith (1911); assurance agent (1921)

William died on 29 April 1917 at Birtley, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1917/663

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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