Dennison, Silas Brook (1839-1898)
Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by T.P.
PRIMITIVE Methodism has always been rich in the services of loyal and devoted workers for Christ, and we venture to say that our brother stands in the highest rank of these faithful ones. Converted to God at thirteen years of age, he at first was connected with the Wesleyan Reformers, and at the age of eighteen became a local preacher amongst them. Removing to Lincoln he joined our denomination, and not long afterwards he came to Oakham, in Rutland, to commence business for himself. There his life’s work was done, and well done, as all who knew him can testify. He was fortunate in his marriage to one who, in all his Christian Work in the Church as well as in the home, was a helpmeet indeed. In our little cause in this town and district he was a tower of strength. He grudged no sacrifices, he spared no toil. His work as a preacher entailed many long and weary journeys, and his support of the cause cost him much, both in thought and money, but it was all a joy to him, as he did it for Christ to whom he had given his life, and for the Church he loved. He was a local preacher for thirty-seven years. Nor were his labours in vain in the Lord. Many precious souls will be his Crown of rejoicing at the last day.
His home was a genuine “preacher’s home.” All were welcome who came in the service of the Lord, while veterans, like the late Rev. Robert Parks and Mr. Thomas Large, were most highly esteemed personal friends. The two young preachers, Revs. Theophilus and Tolefree Parr, boarded with them, and reckon it a privilege indeed to be counted among their friends.
Our brother’s ability as counsellor and administrator was most marked. His circuit honoured him with its unshaken confidence. Thirteen times he was sent as representative to District Meeting, and once by the District Meeting to Conference. His fellow citizens recognised the value of his services by electing him as County Councillor and Poor Law Guardian, which positions he held until the day of his death.
His steadfastness to principle won the respect of all parties, even of those who differed from him in opinions. His loyalty to the Church of his choice and to its interests in the district, was unshaken. His business ability was rewarded by the success he deserved. Beginning life with only his mental powers, and his skill as a tradesman as his capital, he won for himself and his family a good position in life. His greatest joy was that as his own strength failed, his four sons rose up to carry on his work, and are proving themselves worthy of such a father. When he died, one of them was unanimously elected to his place on the County Council, and two of them are doing good service as local preachers.
His last illness was long and painful. His faith was sorely tried. He suffered at times great agony. But his soul triumphed in God. As a last resort, on the recommendation of his medical advisers, he went to a London hospital to undergo a critical operation; but although the operation was successful, serious and unexpected complications supervened, and his life ebbed away. But God gave him the victory. The day before the operation he was calm and happy, and quite resigned to the will of God; ready for life or death.
His remains were laid to rest in Oakham Cemetery, one of the most beautiful of God’s-acres. Revs. A Ward, J. Tolefree Parr, S. Evans and others took part in the funeral service, and it seemed as though the entire population of the quiet little town had assembled to do honour to his memory.
We sorrow not as they that have no hope. Nothing can rob us of the rich treasure of the memory of his wise Christian character. Nothing can destroy the monument he has left behind him in the abiding influence for good on those who were blessed by his ministry. We stand at his grave and hear the voice of the Master, “he that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”
Silas was baptised on 23 June 1839 at Stamford, Lincolnshire. His parents were Robert, a ropemaker, and Abigail.
Silas earned his living as a rope and tentmaker.
He married Mary Buckley (abt1842-1906) in the spring of 1863 in the Grantham Registration District, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify eight children.
- Ann Sophia (1864-1947) – married John Henry Dicks, a shoe riveter, in 1886; married William Spink, a manager in railway wagon works (1911), in 1901
- Joseph Samuel (abt1867-1956) – a tent contractor (1911)
- Fanny Elizabeth (1868-1934) – married Hugh Campbell, an asylum attendant (1911), in 1887
- Mary (1871-1946) – married Arthur John Scott, a gas stoker (1911), in 1895
- Kate (1873-1947) – married Alfred Carter, a post office overseer (1911), in 1902
- Silas Brook (1875-1949) – a master butcher (1911)
- John Robert (1877-1964) – a tent contractor (1911)
- William Arthur (1879-1954) – a caol merchant and carter (1911)
Silas died in late 1898 in the Holborn Registration District, London.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/548
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers