Southward, William (1820-1909)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W.H. Mason 

In the passing of William Southward, Ludlow Circuit has lost its oldest local preacher. Although nearly ninety years of age, our brother was able to walk to chapel, and occasionally to conduct a service. He is sorely missed. He was a local preacher seventy-three years. 

Born in London in 1820, he was brought as a child to the Clee Hill, and at the age of nine he began work in the coal-mine. Fortunately, his overlooker was an earnest Christian, and largely through his influence William yielded his heart to the Saviour. He at once joined Knowbury Society, beginning to preach when under seventeen years of age. He was also trustee and class leader. 

In any work he undertook for the Church he was punctual, devoted and self-sacrificing. Utter weakness, and decay of nature, marked the closing months of his life, and on September 5th his chastened, purified spirit went to God. His funeral testified to the high esteem Ludlow Circuit held hm.


William was born in 1820 at London.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1841 engineman
  • 1851 engineer
  • 1861 engineer & PM local preacher
  • 1871 engiineman & local Methodist preacher
  • 1881 machine clerk for coal mine
  • 1891 stone breaker
  • 1901 living on own means

He married Elizabeth Hughes (abt1824-1907) on 27 May 1846 at Knowbury, Shropshire. Census returns identify four children. 

  • Enoch (1847-1917) – a master builder (1901)            
  • Mary Ann (1850-1941) – married Richard Parsons, a commission agent (1881), in 1877
  • Emma (1852-1939) – a housekeeper (1911)
  • Hannah (1856-1920) – a dressmaker (1881); married Edward Lloyd Potts, a bricklayer (1911), in 1882

William died on 5 September 1910 at Bitterley, Shropshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910/988

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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