Holmes, Thomas (1851-1908)

Transcription of Obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W.E. Hammond

Mr. Thomas Holmes was born at Emerley, Black Heath, Yorkshire, in the year 1852.

In 1882 he was led to the feet of Jesus through the influence of Miss Bell, of Pelaw, who afterwards became his wife. Soon after his conversion he attached himself to our Church, with which he sustained an unbroken membership till his death.

All who knew him prior to his conversion and witnessed his moral transformation along with his subsequent growth in Christian virtues, were ever ready to testify to the reality of his changed life. His love for spiritual fellowship is seen in his frequent walks, after a hard day’s work in the coal mine, from Waldridge Fell to Chester-le-Street, a distance of two miles, to attend the class meeting or week-night preaching service; while his zeal for Christian service was shown by the cheerful promptitude with which he executed any duty the Church entrusted to him.

He, his wife and family removed, in 1891, to Spennymoor where he remained a respected and prominent member of our cause till his removal in 1903 to the mining village of Binchester in the Willington Circuit. This latter society sustained a great loss when he was compelled, through the closing of the mine at which he worked, to find a new home in the Shildon Circuit. It was here, at the Windlestone Colliery, that he peacefully passed away, after only a few months’ connection with the Chilton Church, on July 27th, 1908.

Whatever the gap caused by his death in our Church it is incomparably small when contrasted with the vacancy it has made in the home circle to which he belonged. In domestic life he proved a prudent husband and loving father. Nor was his love given in vain, for his affections have been amply reciprocated by all the members of his household; and his memory will ever be jealously cherished and sacredly revered by those whose privilege it has been to associate with him.


Thomas was born in 1851 at Emerley, Black Heath, Helmsley, Yorkshire, to parents Jacob, a coal miner, and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 14 August 1851 at Helmsley, Yorkshire.

Thomas worked as a coal miner.

He married Mary Anne Bell (b1857) in the spring of 1876 in the Chester le Street Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify seven children.

  • Elizabeth (1876-1958)  – married George Armstrong, a coal miner, in 1901         
  • James Newham (1878-1948) – a coal miner (1911)
  • Mary Ann (1881-1919) – married Joseph Bulmer, a coal miner (1901), in 1900
  • Jacob (abt1884-1933) – a workhouse labour master (1911)
  • John (b1886) – a coal miner (1911)
  • Isaac (1887-1971) – a coal miner (1911)
  • Thomas (b1890) – a coal miner (1911)

Thomas died on 27 July 1908 at Chilton, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909/74

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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