Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by R. Heppenstall
Blaydon-on-Tyne Circuit has suffered a serious loss in the death of William Biggins, of Rowlands Gill. Born at Blaydon, his father and mother were members of the Society and active workers. As a lad, thoughtful and earnest, he became a Sunday School teacher and a local preacher. With others he started the Blaydon Haughs Cause, and took a leading part in building the chapel. He was a good beggar, direct and persistent, and Blaydon Haughs owes to him a great debt for the service and sacrifice he made in its interests— not only for what he did in its erection, and in working for the wiping off of the debt, but also for what he did in obtaining a pipe organ.
Some few years ago, on account of a chronic bronchial affection, he removed from Blaydon, and at once joined the Society at Rowlands Gill, which was then in a weak state, became a Class Leader and Trust Treasurer, and as his health permitted regularly attended the services. At his suggestion the land in front of the chapel, facing the main road, was purchased, and the welfare of the Society was always uppermost in his mind.
The end came suddenly, but it was peaceful—he had served his day and generation by the will of God and fell to sleep on December 12th, 1910, 60 years of age. The funeral was very largely attended by friends from the surrounding district.
William was born in 1850 at Blaydon on Tyne, Co. Durham, to parents John Biggins, a horse nail maker (1861), and Frances Lambert.
Census returns identify the following occupations for William.
- 1861 scholar
- 1871 saddler
- 1881 saddler
- 1891 no occupation
- 1901 harness maker
He married Sarah Jane Warren (1849-1885) in the spring of 1870 in the Gateshead Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify four children.
- John Thomas (1870-1873)
- George William (1874-1958) – a foreman saddler (1911)
- Ada (1877-1950) – a domestic cook (1901); married Charles Edward Dryden, a farmer (1911), in 1901
- Thomas Henry (1882-1932) – a harness maker (1911)
He married Isabella Wallace (1857-1930) in the summer of 1892 in the Gateshead Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify one child.
- Annie (1895-1953) – married Stewart A Pears, a Navy Commander (1939), in 1916
William died on 12 December 1910 at Rowlands Gill, Co. Durham.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/322
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers