Speed, William (1853-1913)

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

In the passing nn October 26th, 1913, of William Speed, aged sixty-one years, Primitive Methodism lost a true and loyal son. Converted in a mission conducted by Mrs. Henry Speed, Preston Brook Circuit rejoiced in the services of his early manhood. Some twenty years ago he removed to Rock Ferry, and from the first connected himself with our Church at New Ferry. How nobly he stood by our struggling cause!

He was a local preacher, class leader, superintendent, and trustee of our new school – chapel at New Ferry, a foundation-stone of which he joyfully laid on August 22nd, 1912. He was kindly, cheery, ever anxious to be a benediction in a sombre hour. In business he was true, straightforward, upright. In his faith he never wavered, so that it was a means of grace to visit him in his illness.

Revs. M.T. Pickering and F. Smith conducted an “In Memoriam” service in the new school-chapel. He lived well, and died well.


William was born in the spring of 1853 at Preston Brook, Cheshire, to parents Abraham Speed, a boatman, and Alice Sandbach. He was baptised on 30 May 1853 at Daresbury, Cheshire.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1861 scholar
  • 1871 porter on canal
  • 1881 canal porter
  • 1891 waterman
  • 1901 canal carrier’s shore foreman
  • 1911 manager with canal carrier

He married Frances Gleave (1849-1916) on 7 August 1870 at Warrington, Lancashire. Census returns identify seven of nine children.

  • Alice Ann (1871-1958) – married Henry Houghton, a dock labourer (1911), in 1892
  • Jane (1872-1960) – married William Henshall Meakin, a warehouseman (1911), in 1890
  • William (1877-1955) – a dock labourer (1911)
  • Harry (1880-1946) – a dock labourer (1911)
  • Frances Harriet (1882-1983) – married Edward John Ambrose, a hydraulic man with Mersey Docks & Harbour Board, in 1902
  • Isabella (1884-1964) – married George Ethelbert Sayce in 1905; married Thomas V Pye in 1911; married Alfred Charles Hampton, a general labourer (1921), in 1915
  • Percy Gleave (1888-1946) – a butcher (1911)

William died on 26 October 1913 at Rock Ferry, Cheshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/240

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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