Prime, Henry (1833-1900)
Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by F.E.H.
OUR Buxton Church has lost its pioneer, and one of its great spiritual forces. Bro. Henry Prime was born in 1833 at Middleton, Winster Circuit. His father was a devoted local preacher. He became much troubled by Henry’s drunken, vile conduct, and spent much time in prayer for him. One Sunday evening in 1855, Henry went to the chapel, and with broken heart sought and found the Saviour. His saved, enthusiastic nature quickly found a sphere for service in the prayer meetings and open-air missions. His soul was ablaze for the salvation of men. When his father was planned for two services one Sunday at Heathcote, Henry asked to be allowed to take them. The request was joyfully granted, and good was done. The next quarter Henry’s name appeared on the plan. Rev. A.F. Beckerlegge urged him to go into the ministry, but he declined. He got married, and went to reside at Flagg, and did a great work there. In 1860 he removed to Buxton, and finding no Primitive Methodist Society, he commenced services in his own house in West Street, afterwards renting the old Independent Chapel for a year on his own responsibility. The infant church grew, and land was bought for a chapel, which was opened in April, 1869, by Mr. John Ashworth, of Rochdale. In a few years, more land was secured, a manse built, then a schoolroom erected. His zealous labours reached the villages, and much good was done and societies formed. He was frequently urged and tempted to leave the Connexion, but he replied, “No, I am a Primitive Methodist, and I mean to die one!” Twenty-two years ago he was stricken with paralysis, and the affliction gradually deepened to the end. While afflicted, he attended the services as much as possible, and his presence, prayers, responses, and hallelujahs were an inspiration and benediction to many. In his long-continued affliction there was a marked exhibition of the triumph of grace, for none could be more patient, submissive, trustful and cheerful even to the last hour, when the chariots of God fetched him to the tearless home above. The funeral service was conducted in the chapel by Rev. F.E. Heape and by Rev. J. Mayles, prior to the burial in Chelmorton Churchyard. On Sunday evening June 24th, 1900, an In Memoriam service was held in our chapel, and appropriate addresses delivered by Mr. R.B. Morten and the Minister. May his faithful widow and family be comforted, and at last re-united.
Henry was baptised on 17 August 1834 at Crich, Derbyshire. His parents were Daniel, who worked the land, and Esther.
Census returns identify the following occupations for Henry.
- 1851 labourer
- 1861 clock and watchmaker
- 1871 watchmaker
- 1881 watchmaker (unemployed)
- 1891 lodging house keeper
Henry married Mary Ann Needham (1839-1872) in the spring of 1859 at Bakewell Independent Chapel, Derbyshire. Census returns identify six children.
- Richard Needham (1860-1950) – a book-keeper (1911)
- Walter (1862-1939) – a stationer & newsagent (1901)
- Henry (b abt1864) – newsagent & tobacconist (1911)
- Daniel (1866-1962) – a laundry vanman (1911)
- Annie Martha (abt1868-1956) – married William Henry Luff, a coal merchant, in 1895
- Emily Jane (b1870) – married Ralph Bailey Robinson, a grocer, in 1899
Henry married Hannah Dicken, nee Cantrell (1828-1911) in late 1872 at Higher Buxton Wesleyan Chapel, Derbyshire.
Henry died in June 1900.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1902/392
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers