Kemble, Richard (1834-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John H. Green

MR. RICHARD KEMBLE, of Wanborough, Swindon First Circuit, began life in a very lowly condition; but from a labourer, he became a farmer of his own land, and having amassed a competence, he had just retired from business, at the age of sixty-five, when he was taken ill, and after a few weeks’ illness, he suddenly slipped away.

The crisis of his life came when he was sixteen years of age. He had been brought up to the State Church, but when that age he was converted in our old chapel at Stratton. About three years later he was put on the plan, and for forty-five years was an earnest and enthusiastic local preacher. He has done good service in this part of the country, and his memory will long be cherished.

For many years he was on the Board of Guardians, School Board, and Parish Council, and was highly esteemed for his uprightness and honest manner in business. Warm and impulsive, loyal and true to his convictions, he was a sturdy Methodist, and a warm supporter of her institutions.

He married when quite young, and with his first wife lived very happily for forty-one years, and had a large family. Four years ago he married his second wife, who, with one young child, is now left to mourn their loss.

Brother Kemble several times represented his circuit at the District Meeting, and once, or more, we think, has been sent to Conference.

There seems a touch of the tragic in his departure. He had worked hard all his life, had been successful, had made his “pile,” had just come to live in the town, and was hoping to be useful in our Prospect Society, and quietly spend a few years in a well-earned rest. He was taken ill, seemed better, and appeared to be rallying, and was hopeful of soon being about, but having eaten his dinner, he suddenly collapsed, and to the surprise of most, he was “absent from the body and present with the Lord.”

A large number attended his funeral, and there were abundant evidences of the high esteem in which our brother was held. May his family meet him in heaven!


Richard was baptised on 23 February 1834 at Stratton, Wiltshire. His parents were Richard and Ann. Richard, senior, worked the land.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Richard.

  • 1851 agricultural labourer
  • 1861 agricultural labourer
  • 1871 farmer of 60 acres
  • 1881 farmer of 104 acres
  • 1891 farmer

Richard married Mary Ann Rowland (1825-1894) in late 1854 in the Cricklade Registration District, Wiltshire. Census returns identify five children.

  • John Richard (1859-1902) – a farmer
  • Sarah Ann (b abt1862) – married Henry Edward Wright, a farm bailiff (1891), in 1885
  • William Joseph (1865-1904) – a farmer
  • Elizabeth (b abt1867) – married Albert Stratford, a farmer, in 1895
  • Edward James (1869-1895) – a farm bailiff (1895)

Richard married Mary Anne Jane George (1857-1937) in early 1895 in the Highworth Registration District, Wiltshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • James Rowland (1895-1961) – served in Royal Marines in WW1

Richard died on 20 March 1899.

Mary Ann Jane Looker was baptised on 2 August 1857. Her parents were Jabez George and Eliza Looker. She married William Henry Morris, a commission agent, in 1902.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/472

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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