Dickens, Edmund (1844-1910)
Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.S.B.
Mr. Edmund Dickens, though but sixty-eight years of age, was the oldest local preacher on the Stewkley Circuit plan. He was converted over fifty years ago, and maintained his membership with the Newton Longville Society for the whole of that time.
Being a man of more than average ability and with a mind stored with much reading, he was appointed to the senior class in the Sunday School, and no more fitting appointment was ever made. He afterwards served his Church in many capacities. As a local preacher he was much respected, for he gave of the very best. Though he never got far away from the Cross of Jesus, his sermons were out of the common, and his thoughts were clothed in most felicitous language.
In his earlier manhood he took great interest in the Agricultural Labourers’ Union, and to the end stood with unfaltering fidelity by the men of the soil.
His brief illness was one of much suffering, but was borne without a word of complaint. The writer will never forget his visits to the chamber where this good man lay. Said he, “Tell the people the Christ I preached sustained me now.” A large company gathered in the village Churchyard when all that was mortal of this true servant of God was laid to rest.
Edmund was born in 1844 at Newton Longville, Buckinghamshire, to parents Michael, a farm labourer (1851), and Sarah. He was baptised on 3 May 1844 at Newton Longville.
Census returns identify the following occupations for Edmund.
- 1851 scholar
- 1861 shepherd
- 1871 farm labourer
- 1881 lecturer – National Agricultural Labourers’ Union
- 1891 agricultural labourer
- 1901 agricultural labourer
He married Harriet Perry (1842-1920) in early 1867 at Newton Longville, Buckinghamshire. Census returns identify four of six children.
- Sarah Georgina (1868-1882) – a straw platter (1881)
- Charles Walter (1870-1891) – an agricultural labourer (1891)
- Clara (1872-1939) – married Frank Thorne, a farm labourer (1911), in 1900
- Ellen May (1877-1882)
Edmund died in 1910 at Newton Longville, Buckinghamshire.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/407
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers