Shepherdson, Benjamin James (1858-1913)

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

In the promotion of Brother Benjamin James Shepherdson to the higher service, the Wellingborough Circuit has been bereft of a real helper. After but a few days illness he passed peacefully away on November 2nd, 1913. Born February 9th, 1858, at Kirby Moorside, as a youth he was converted to God and at seventeen years of age began to preach, in which work he continued to his dying day. 

For nineteen years he served the interests of the Refuge Assurance Co., and wherever he was located was loyal to his own Church. In London, Doncaster, Hemsworth, Pontefract, Leicester, Nuneaton, and Wellingborough, he has been connected with our Church, and by his genial spirit and unfailing interest won the esteem of his brethren. He has held numerous offices: circuit steward, circuit secretary, class leader, Sunday School superintendent, secretary and treasurer. At Hemsworth he, with his wife and family, missioned the streets, started a Sunday School and opened their house for preaching services. 

In the pulpits of our circuit and in the homes of our people he was always welcome. He was a good man, powerful in prayer, regular in his attendance at God’s house and always willing to help the cause both by service and substance. 

On November 5th the interment at Welford Road Cemetery was conducted by Revs. R.J. Fenwick and G.E. Wiles. On Sunday, November 9th, in our Wellingborough Chapel an impressive memorial service was conducted by the writer. To the sorrowing widow and family we express our sincerest sympathy.


Benjamin was born on 9 February 1858 at Kirby Moorside, Yorkshire, to parents Benjamin Shepherdson, who worked the land (1871), and Sarah Dobson. He was baptised on 16 March 1858 at Kirby Moorside.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Benjamin.

  • 1871 agricultural labourer
  • 1881 works engineman at iron mine
  • 1891 engine driver & local preacher
  • 1901 preacher & assurance superintendent
  • 1911 assurance superintendent

He married Mary Ann Nelson (1859-1941) in early 1881 in the Sunderland Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify four children.

  • John James (1881-1966) – a shop assistant (1921)
  • Sarah Jane (1883-1940) – married George Thomas Jordan, a printer compositor (1939), in 1912
  • Mary Ann Nelson (1884-1965) – married Thomas Henry Throsby, a master printer (1921), in 1910
  • William Francis (1893-1960) – a provisions shop assistant (1921); a printer’s manager (1939)

Benjamin died on 2 November 1913 at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/157

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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