Smith, William (1848-1914)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by A.T.

There passed away on January 1st, 1914, in his sixty-sixth year, one of the oldest members of the Canaan Church, Nottingham. Scholar in the Sunday-school at four years old, and member of the Church at fourteen, our brother’s loyalty and self-sacrifice manifested itself early. Running errands for a whole week for one penny, at the end of thirteen weeks he gave every penny as class-money. This generous spirit remained with him to the last. 

A teacher in the Sunday-school for forty years, he was also a lover of camp meetings and open-air services. Indeed all the services of the sanctuary were his delight. His singing and praying were

always characterised with a whole-hearted fervour and enthusiasm. For several years he was society steward, and up to his death was a trustee of the Church and class leader. A most industrious and conscientious Christian, he earned the confidence and esteem of his employers and the respect of all who knew him. 

During his last illness he remained the same earnest, cheerful Christian. His full assurance of the reality of personal religion which had been such an encouragement to others was beautiful to witness as he approached the end. A memorial service was conducted in the Canaan Church by Rev. A. Taylor.


William was born in 1847 at Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, to parents George, a trimmer (1851), and Ann. He was baptised on 8 August 1847 at Bulwell.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1861 grocer’s errand boy
  • 1871 grocer’s porter
  • 1881 grocer’s porter
  • 1891 grocer
  • 1901 green grocer
  • 1911 green grocer

He married Jane Harriett Hunsley (1846-1919) in the spring of 1869 at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. Census returns identify five of six children.

  • George Hunsley (1869-1916) – a lace warehouseman (1891)
  • Hannah Maria (1873-1940) – a lace finisher (1891); married George Frederick Astill, a bread baker (1911), in 1903
  • Thomas William (b1877) – provision merchant’s clerk (1901); wholesale provision merchant (1921)
  • Charles Frederick (1882-1962) – a goods porter (1921)
  • Joseph Herbert (1885-1957) – a mechanic (1911); telephone mechanic (1921)

William died on 1 January 1914 at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/329(2)

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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