Clayton, William Henry Moss (1860-1914)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by A.L.H.

The shadow of a deep sorrow fell on many hearts when, on January 9th of this year, William Henry Clayton, of Chesterfield, passed with startling suddenness out of this earthly life into the life immortal. A child of the manse, he was born in 1861, whilst his father, the Rev. William Clayton, was stationed at Sleaford. Reared amid religious influences and favoured, in addition, with a good education, he in due course attached himself to the Church and to the service of Christ. 

In Sheffield, first of all, and then for the last twenty years at Chesterfield, where he was in business as an accountant, he went in and out of church and Sunday school, doing all the work he was asked to undertake with a quiet readiness, a simple and unobtrusive fidelity such as made the work, valuable and extensive as it was, even less precious than the spirit in which it was done. As secretary and treasurer of various institutions, as deputy organist, and, finally, as circuit steward, he served his church and circuit, the devotion thus displayed being the more conspicuous by reason of the imperfect health which was his lot. 

There was nothing narrow or parochial about him. His generous soul embraced the work of our Church as a whole, and no one followed Connexional movements with keener interest, or, up to the measure of his resources, helped them. more liberally than he. He was not given to vocal expression of his religion—indeed, to speak at all in public was little to his taste—but religion shone out in his whole life and spirit. The scene at his funeral was a striking manifestation of the esteem and affection in which he was held.


William was born in the summer of 1860 at Sleaford, Lincolnshire, to parents William Clayton, a PM minister, and Ann Moss Sutton.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1881 accountant’s clerk
  • 1891 chartered accountant
  • 1901 chartered accountant
  • 1911 chartered accountant

He married Ellen Saxton (b1869) in late 1897 at the PM Chapel, Harland, Derbyshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Dorothy (1898) – a chartered accountant’s clerk (1921)

William died on 9 January 1914 at Chesterfield, Derbyshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/915

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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