Howard, William (1821-1914)

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

By the passing of John Howard, of Kirkstead, Horncastle Circuit, yet another link with the earlier days of Primitive Methodism has been broken. During his later years he was ever fond of telling how that when he was connected with the police force in Hull, he had heard William Clowes give what proved to be his last address in public.

Soon after coming to Kirkstead he yielded his life to God and joined our Church. Throughout the years he served in various capacities as an official. Our society at Kirkstead owes much to his loyal and steadfast adherence. He was not converted long before he was thrust out into the work of preaching, and only the infirmities of advancing years compelled him to relinquish such a sacred task. As a local he trudged considerable distances to proclaim the Word. 

On April 18th, when his age was ninety-three years, the call to higher service came. He retained unquenched faith in God and the future glory awaiting him. The interment took place at the Presbyterian Church. Revs. W. Houlden (Presbyterian) and W.H. Nicholas (Primitive Methodist) conducted the service. The funeral sermon was preached by the writer on the following Sunday night, when further proof was given of the high esteem in which the deceased was held.


William was born abt1821 at Martin Dales, Lincolnshire, to parents William Howard, a farm labourer (1851), and Elizabeth Fynes. He was baptised on 24 February 1821 at Timberland, Lincolnshire.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1841 agricultural labourer
  • 1851 police officer
  • 1861 labourer
  • 1871 farm labourer
  • 1881 farmer of 6 acres
  • 1891 farmer
  • 1901 agricultural labourer
  • 1911 no occupation

He married Elizabeth Chapman (1819-1853). I have not been able to identify an online marriage record.

  • Martha (1848-1916) – married unknown Lockwood 

He married Harriet Fixter (1829-1909) in late 1855 in the Horncastle Registration District, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • Eliza (1857-1926) – a dressmaker (1881); married John Robert Faulkner, an agricultural labourer (1891), in 1886
  • Betsy (1865-1949) – general domestic help (1921)                    
  • Fynes (1868-1939) – a bricklayers labourer (1901); auxiliary postman (1911)

William died on 18 April 1914 at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/913

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: I was unable to find a John Howard in online records matching the dates given in the obituary. However I was able to find William with matching dates, location and occupation. I am assuming an error in the Magazine obituary.

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