Donald, William (1840-1914)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W.F.

In the passing of William Donald, of West End, Kirbymoorside, on February 5th, the Pickering Circuit has sustained a great loss. Born at Askham, Westmorland, on May 31st, 1840, he was for some years a member of the Church of England. In 1868 he came to reside in Rosedale, and the following year met with a severe accident in the mines, when his life was despaired of. In 1870 he became a Christian and definitely consecrated himself to Jesus Christ. In 1873 he married Miss Baxter and settled at Kirbymoorside, where he carried on business as a grocer. 

Our friend served the Church in many ways. For a long period he was a Sunday School teacher and superintendent, and for forty years an acceptable local preacher. He discharged the duties of society steward for nearly twenty years. He also served as treasurer of the Chapel Trust for many years. Our departed friend was a member of the District Committees for thirty years, and represented the Circuit at the District Meeting and his District at the Conference. 

Intellectually and spiritually Mr. Donald was strong; he formed his own opinions. Always conscientious he was governed by principle in all that he did. He was fearless in the expression of his views and never deviated from what he believed to be right. In his personality he united strength and sympathy, sturdiness and tenderness. He was exceptionally generous and gave systematically and proportionately. He did much to remove the debts from the Rosedale Chapels and responded to numerous appeals from different parts of the Connexion. 

Amid manifestations of respect the interment took place at Kirbymoorside Churchyard on February 9th. A largely attended service was held in the chapel, the Rev. T.B. Caukwell gave a touching and chaste address. The Revs. W. Fidoe, J. Forster, J. Bilton, R. A. Buckley, and H.W. Hill (Congregationalist) also took part. At the grave the committal sentences were read by Rev. W. Fidoe, who conducted an impressive memorial service on the following Sunday night.

May the sorrowing daughter receive divine consolation and support in her bereavement, knowing that the good die not. They live in the memory of their lives.


William was born on 31 May 1840 at Askham, Westmorland, to parents Joseph Donald, a farm labourer, and Jane Mounsey. He was baptised on 28 June 1840 at Askham.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1851 scholar
  • 1861 carter
  • 1871 timekeeper
  • 1891 grocer & provision dealer
  • 1901 grocer
  • 1911 grocer

He married Ann Baxter (1839-1913) in the spring of 1873 at Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Mary Jane (1874-1956) – a grocer (1921)
  • Joseph Robert (1876-1894)

William died on 5 February 1914 at Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/494

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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