Mainprize, Leonard (1786-1863)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J Mainprize

My dear father was born at Flamborough, in the county of York, January 13th, 1786. He was deprived of his parents in early life; when he was thrown on the world to provide for himself. He was married in the nineteenth year of his age to an amiable young woman, by whom he had a family of eleven children. My father and mother lived strangers to God and the things that belong to their peace until about the thirty-second year of their age, when my father was convinced of sin, deeply wounded, and his conscience sore troubled. He began to cry for mercy, through the atonement of the Saviour, and, thank God, he did not cry in vain; for God, who is rich in mercy, and not willing that any should perish, revealed himself to him one night while he knelt at his own bed-side. He then could sing, 

“My God is reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear.”

My dear mother thought that he was going out of his mind, and had no love for her and her children; to which he replied, he loved them better than ever, and was just come to his right mind. Shortly afterwards my dear mother was converted to God, and they joined the Wesleyan Methodists, erected a family altar, and went on their way rejoicing. My father continued happy and comfortable among the Wesleyans for about a year and a-half, after which he joined the Primitive Methodists, and continued with them to the day of his death. 

I never heard my father assign any reason for leaving the Wesleyans, nor do I think he had any special reason; but like some of the early disciples of our blessed Saviour, he was a fisherman, and being on a fishing voyage to Hull, he heard the Primitives there, and he very much admired the liveliness of their singing, and the zeal of their minister for the salvation of immortal souls; and he ever after felt strongly and warmly attached to them. When they paid their first visit to Flamborough, and formed a society, my father cast in his lot among them, became one of the first members, and supported the infant society to the utmost of his ability, and his house was ever open for the messengers of truth. 

My dear father was not perfect, he had a very warm temper, which was to him a source of great sorrow, for which he had often to weep in secret, and spend many sleepless nights. But I never heard any charge against him, except his temper. He was a steady, consistent member for forty-four years, forty-three of which he fulfilled the office of class-leader. He was seldom absent from the means of grace unless prevented by affliction. He spent much time in secret prayer and reading, and he loved to talk about his heavenly Master, and was ready to give to every one a reason of the hope that was within him. His was a religion of enjoyment, one that made him happy. He was useful in visiting the sick and dying; he seemed to fear no fever or contagion; he was a man of strong faith and confidence in the promises of God. 

In December 1856 he had a fall, by which one of his hips was put out, and the last six years of his life he was seldom free from pain; but amid all his sufferings he was resigned to the will of Him that said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” When any one asked him respecting the welfare of his body or soul, he generally said, “I am packing up and getting ready.” Sometimes he thought he should have a hard struggle at the last, but from this the Lord happily saved him, for he was called suddenly, but not unprepared; he had oil in his lamp, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom on January the 22nd. He sat taking some refreshment, fell back in his chair, and died without a lingering groan or parting farewell, leaving a large family to mourn their loss. Three sons and one daughter are members’ of society, as are many of his grandchildren. He was followed to his grave by a large circle of relatives and friends, who wished to pay a last tribute of respect to departed worth.


Leonard was born on 13 January 1786 at Flamborough, Yorkshire to parents George and Hannah Burrill.

Leonard was a fisherman.

He married Frances (Fanny) Vickerman (1784-1844) on 27 May 1805 at Flamborough, Yorkshire. Records identify ten of eleven children.

  • George (1806-1879) – a marine telegraphist (1851)
  • John (1807-1878) – a master shoemaker (1851)
  • Elizabeth (1810-1881) – married Matthew Gibbon, a fisherman, in 1833
  • Leonard (b1811)
  • Vickerman (1813-1884) – a fisherman
  • Ann (1814-1815)
  • Hannah (1817-1841)
  • Frances (1818-1888) – married William Stork, a fisherman, in 1840
  • Sarah (abt1822-1908) – married Cockcroft Warcup, a fisherman, in 1844
  • Mary (1828-1887) – married Robert Wilson, a fisherman, in 1852

Leonard died on 22 January 1863 at Flamborough, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1863/653

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