Key, Henry (1853-1913) - commonly called Henry Wood

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.B.

Mr. Henry Wood, the circuit steward of the Pickering Circuit, passed peacefully away 25th May, 1913. His association with Primitive Methodism in Pickering covers the substantial period of thirty-five years. For three years he had held the position of circuit steward, and discharged the duties of the office in painstaking and admirable fashion. At Pickering he was president of the Christian Endeavour Society and Band of Hope, and his messages to the young people were always characteristically helpful. At Pickering Carr he was society steward, class leader, chapel treasurer, school superintendent, treasurer and secretary, and for several years he had been the mainstay of our village cause there. For over thirty years he was an acceptable local preacher, thoughtful in his message and faithful in his ministry. He was also an overseer of the poor for the town of Pickering. 

For some time prior to his decease his health had been very unsatisfactory and repeated warnings were given that his tenure of life was not likely to be prolonged. He continued in harness though until the day that he was stricken with his fatal illness, and then within a fortnight of taking to his bed he was called home at the age of fifty-eight. On May 28th the interment took place in the Pickering Cemetery, the Service being conducted by Revs. J. Bilton, R.W. Nelson, J. Bennett, W. Fidoe and J. Forster. An “In Memoriam” service was held on Sunday, June 8th.


Henry was born in late 1853 at York, Yorkshire, to mother Sarah Key. He was baptised on 17 December 1853 at York. His mother married James Wood, a grocer & baker in 1857. In adult life Henry uses the surname Wood in census returns, but birth, marriage and death are recorded with surname Key. The same complication arises for his children.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Henry.

  • 1861 no occupation
  • 1871 no identified
  • 1881 grocer
  • 1891 grocer
  • 1901 grocer shopkeeper
  • 1911 commercial traveller for flour miller

He married Rachel Ann Dixon (1857-??) in the summer of 1876 at Pickering, Yorkshire. Census returns identify six of seven children.

  • James Henry (1877-1955) – a grocer’s assistant (1901); a railway goods porter (1911)
  • Harold (b1880)
  • Maud Mary (1882-1895)
  • Annie Elizabeth (b1884)
  • Alfred (b1885) – a grocer’s traveller (1911); flour miller’s traveller
  • Robert Arnold (b1897)

Henry died on 25 May 1913 at Pickering, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/243

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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