Simpson, William (1838-1915)

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

William Simpson was born at Birch Vale on April 29th, 1838, and after a long and strenuous life passed to the Homeland on October 15th, 1915. Converted as a young man, he joined our cause at New Mills, and after a while was requested, with others, to establish a cause at Thornsett, to which society he has given his whole-hearted service. 

For fifty years he was superintendent of the Sunday school, while at different times he filled the offices of class leader, society steward and trust treasurer. For over forty-five years he was an acceptable local preacher. But it was as a home missionary that William Simpson excelled. He was ever welcome in the homes of the people, and especially in times of trouble and distress. He not only professed religion, but practised it. He was God’s man, His memory is fragrant.

He was interred in the Wesleyan graveyard, New Mills, on October 18th. A largely attended memorial service was conducted by the writer at our Thornsett Chapel on October 24th.


William was born on 29 April 1838 at Birch Vale, Derbyshire, to parents James Simpson, a labourer (1851), and Elizabeth Turnock. He was baptised on 3 June 1838 at Hayfield, Derbyshire.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1851 no occupation
  • 1861 labourer at cotton mill
  • 1871 blacksmith
  • 1881 engine smith
  • 1891 blacksmith
  • 1901 blacksmith
  • 1911 blacksmith

He married Sarah Wharmby (1842-1903) in the spring of 1872 at Shrewsbury Street Primitive Methodist Chapel, Glossop, Derbyshire. Census returns and birth records identify six children.

  • Fred (1873-1957) – moulder at iron foundry (1901)
  • Ellen Ann (1875-1938) – married James William Booth, an engraver to calico works (1901), in 1893
  • Sarah Esther (1877-1963) – cotton yarn butcher (1901); married Frank Hobson, a master baker (1911), in 1905
  • Dorendia (1879-1880)
  • Lloyd William (1881-1969) – joiner’s apprentice (1901); joiner (1921)
  • Arthur (b1884) – moulder at iron foundry (1901)

William died on 15 October 1915 at Thornsett, Derbyshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/155

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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