Binnall, Rowland Augustus (1841-1915)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Michael Featherstone

Rowland A. Binnall was born in Tunstall, North Staffordshire, in 1841. For more than fifty years he was a proficient and popular precentor, hymn tune composer, and a pioneer teacher of sol-fa in the Potteries. The choirs of Clowes’ Memorial, Burslem; Jubilee Chapel and Sir Smith Child Choral Society, Tunstall; Immanuel Church, Brixton, S.W., enhanced their reputations under his leadership. On the occasion of his jubilee, in 1910, he was presented with a beautifully illuminated address by the Jubilee Chapel choir, Tunstall, and the S.S.U. diploma of honour. He was a lifelong abstainer and temperance worker. His many happy associations with our Church brought melody and light at eventide. 

On October 26th, 1915, he gently “fell on sleep.” Numerous and eloquent tributes to his character and ability have been a source of great comfort to Mrs. Binnall and her children in their ‘sorrow. Memorial services were held at Tunstall and Brixton, S.W. Mrs. Binnall and family attended the latter. At the close of a deeply impressive service, the Vesper was sung to the tune composed by Mr. Binnall.


Rowland was born in 1841 at Willenhall, Staffordshire, to parents Henry Binnall, a schoolmaster (1851), and Matilda Maria Rowlands.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Rowland.

  • 1851 scholar
  • 1861 potter’s warehouseman
  • 1871 manager at tile works
  • 1881 hosier & draper, also manager of Encaustic Tile works
  • 1891 earthenware manufacturer
  • 1901 retired earthenware manufacturer
  • 1911 retired earthenware manufacturer

He married Martha Nixon (1848-1869) in the summer of 1868 in the Wolstanton Registration District, Staffordshire.

He married Rachel Deborah Corfield (1857-1939) on 3 August 1878 at Christ Church, Cobridge, Staffordshire. Census returns identify  seven children.

  • Florence Matilda Frances (1879-1963) – married William Henry Moore, a potter’s mould maker and modeller (1901), in 1900
  • Rowland Henry John (1881-1958) – a customs and excise official (1911)
  • Alfred Augustus Britain (1883-1966) – a chemist assistant (1911); dispensing chemist (1939)
  • Harold Frank Edgar (1886-1959) – a telegraphic cable operator retired (1939)
  • Ethel Maud R (1888-1891)
  • Cyril Fred Ernest (1890-1923) – a clerk (1921)
  • Ethel May Annie (1895-1980) – married Alfred Henry Wickes, a civil servant (1921), in 1921

Rowland died on 26 October 1915 at Clapham Park, Surrey.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/243

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Rowland’s birth is recorded in the Wolverhampton Registration District, not Tunstall as stated in the obituary. He was brought up in Tunstall.

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