Beesley, William (1854-1911)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine

After a very brief illness William Beesley “was not for God him” on Sept. 21, 1911, and the Bradford Central Hall lost one of its most winsome personalities. His reminiscences of veteran and departed ministers, like George Warner, were singularly interesting. He had the early Primitive Methodist type of religion, with its emphasis on prayer and joyful experience of saving grace. 

He came to Bradford about 20 years ago. For some time he was hindered by the idea that he need not be a total abstainer in order to be a good Christian. When he covenanted with the Lord to save and keep him from drink his days of stumbling ended, and for ten years he was a veritable Barnabas at the Central Hall. He loved to work among children and young people, and no one was more at home with older ones who had a word to say for their Master. He was unpretentious, unselfish, and eager for work.


William was born abt1854 at Hornton, Oxfordshire, to parents William, a shoemaker (1861), and Mary.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1871 errand boy
  • 1881 fishmonger assistant
  • 1891 fishmonger’s assistant
  • 1901 fish salesman
  • 1911 fish and poultry salesman

He married Bridget Martha Sewell (1858-1909) in late 1876 in the Warwick Registration District, Warwickshire. Census returns and birth records identify twelve of thirteen children.

  • Emily Mary (1877-1959) – married Frederick Fairburn, a worst spinning overlooker (1911), in 1894   
  • John William (1879-1879)
  • Ethel May (b1880) – housekeeper (1911); married Albert Styles farmer in 1919             
  • William Ernest (1882-900)
  • Archibald George (1884-1952) – a wool warehouseman (1939)
  • Alfred Winters (1886-1961) – a picture framer (1911); a postman (1939)      
  • Kate (1890-1891)   
  • Albert Henry (1892-1892)
  • Gertrude (1893-1985) – a burler & mender (1911)     
  • Rose (1895-1929) – a dressmaker (1911); married George Henry Hodgson, a foreign correspondent, in 1920
  • Minnie (b1897) -a twister doffer (1911); a worsted weaver (1939)
  • John Leonard (1899-1901)

William died on 21 September 1911 at Bradford, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/499

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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