Pinney, William John (1839-1914)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 

William Pinney was born December 27th, 1839, and died May 14th, 1914. Soon after conversion at the age of twenty, he removed to Melbury, and joining the society there, was soon made assistant class leader and local preacher.

A society being formed at the village of Cann, he was appointed society steward, class leader and chapel steward. On marrying he settled there, and he and his wife retained an unbroken membership until their death. For many years he was Sunday school superintendent and Band of Hope president, and entertained the ministers and temperance lecturers at his home. 

His Christian experience was ever bright and joyous. Singing was his great delight. He was a kind husband and father. He was delegate to the District Meetings at Marnhull, and preached at the United Centenary Camp Meeting at Shaftesbury.

His later years were filled with sickness and shadowed by the sudden loss of his wife. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. H. Lancaster.


William was born in 1839 at Compton Abbas, Dorset, to parents, Samuel George Pinney, who worked the land (1841), and Rhoda Whitmarsh. Records identify that William was baptised on 16 December 1839 at Compton Abbas. This clearly is in conflict with the date of birth given in the obituary.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1851 in workhouse
  • 1861 mason’s labourer
  • 1871 mason
  • 1881 pedlar
  • 1891 assurance agent
  • 1901 Prudential Assurance agent
  • 1911 pensioned Prudential agent

He married Sarah Jane Lush (1838-1909) in late 1867 at Shaftsbury, Dorset. Census returns identify four children.

  • Minnie Lucretia (1868-1886)
  • Anna Jemima (1872-1959) – a school teacher (1911)
  • Elizabeth Keturah (1875-1955)
  • William Samuel (1878-1935) – a printer compositor (1901)

William died on 14 May , 1914 at Cann, Dorset


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915/412

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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