Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.P. Langham
Mr. Thomas Beech, of Tunstall, who passed to his reward on the 8th of April last, was a man of the “old school,’’ who for fifty-five years discharged with great acceptance the duties of a local preacher, and cared for the “flock of Christ’’ as a faithful under-shepherd. The members of his classes received from him sound counsel, and saw in him an example of Christian steadfastness and perseverance.
Tall, upright, brawny, rugged, he impressed all as one who found nothing so agreeable as constant hard work. He believed it to be the duty of all men to work hard and long, and had little sympathy with the modern demand for shorter working days, and what he believed in he practised. After a week of exhausting toil he would walk many miles to preach the Gospel to the poor and ignorant. He was instrumental in leading many to the Saviour.
He was converted at Dalehall under the ministry of the late Rev. Robert Bowen, and was one of the founders of the Smallthorn Society in the Burslem Circuit. In 1900 the members and friends of the Tunstall Society presented him with an illuminated address, bearing testimony to his tong and faithful services in every movement which had for its object the betterment of his fellows.
He reached the ripe age of seventy-nine before he was “translated.” Through his friendship with the late Mr. John Cope, of Red Street, Chesterton, a commodious chapel in that village was secured to the Connexion. This chapel was the private property of Mr. Cope, though supplied with preachers by the surrounding P.M. Circuits. By Mr. Beech’s advice the owner presented this property, valued at £500, to the Tunstall Circuit; and after Mr. Cope’s death, Mr. Beech became the treasurer and general adviser of the society in this village.
Throughout his long term of Christian service he was nobly supported by his wife in all his efforts for the growth and prosperity of the Mother Circuit of Primitive Methodism.
Thomas was born abt1831 at Chesterton, Staffordshire, to parents James and Mary. he was baptised on 20 February 1831 at Wolstanton, Staffordshire.
Census returns identify the following occupations for Thomas.
- 1851 potter printer
- 1861 coal miner & local Methodist preacher
- 1881 grocer
- 1891 living on own means
- 1901 retired oil works manager
He married Maria Thorley (abt1831-1916) in the summer of 1851 in the Wolstanton Registration District, Staffordshire. Census returns identify two children.
- Alice (1856-1926) – married Jabez Appleby, a potter’s warehouseman, in 1879
- Mary (1860-1877)
Thomas died on 9 April 1910 at Tunstall, Staffordshire.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910/915
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers