Simpkin, Thomas (1829-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by T. Shaw

After three score year and ten years of bright happy and purposeful life, Thomas Simpkin passed away to the life beyond on the 22nd of July, 1899. He was associated at the time of his death with Colne Circuit, though the greater part of his life and service had been given to the Bethel Church, Burnley First Station. He was engaged in Sunday School work from the days of his young manhood, and was still an ardent worker when death called him. His head was grey, but his heart was young, and it was beautiful to see him still working amongst the young as the shadows of life gathered about him. He was heard to say that the Sunday School had been, and still was, the joy of his life. We think there would be many who would give him welcome to the home of rest.

Also, our brother was a most enthusiastic worker in connection with our Missionary Society, for twenty-nine years he was a collector, and organised various efforts to raise money for missionary enterprise. In 1890, at Christmas, he organised a “sale of work” which brought in £77 for the Missionary Fund. And in many other ways he worked to help on the great cause of missions.

The poor, the fatherless, and the widows had a true friend in Thomas Simpkin, especially at Christmas time was he busy, in carrying out food and clothing and coals. The blessing of the needy and those who were ready to perish followed him continually. He was a good man, and followed the Master, “who went about doing good.”

When sickness and weakness came he met it calmly and with good courage. It was a means of grace to see how cheerful and resigned he was in his affliction, and to see how his Christian hope sustained him. For a few weeks he lingered in the valley of the shadow of death, and then on July 22nd he quietly and peacefully fell asleep. The mortal remains were laid to rest in the cemetery at Burnley on the Wednesday following, The interment was preceded by a short service in Bethel Chapel, Burnley, when Mr. J. Baldwin, an old friend and co-worker of our departed brother‘s, gave an address. Mr. Baldwin spoke in touching terms of the old days of service, and the blessed seasons they had spent together; and many were moved to tears as he reminded them of the host of workers who had passed away from their Church and school.

A great number of friends and officials, along with the class of young women of which Brother Simpkin had been teacher, joined the family in the mournful procession to the cemetery. Arrived there, with many signs of deep sorrow, the remains were laid in the family vault, the Rev. G.W. King and the Rev. T. Shaw taking part in the service. May the widow be comforted in her loneliness, and may the children have grace given them to follow in the steps of their sainted father.


Thomas was born at Chesterfield, Derbyshire, to parents William, an iron moulder, and Sarah.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Thomas.

  • 1851 iron moulder
  • 1871 iron founder
  • 1881 iron moulder
  • 1891 retired iron moulder

Thomas married Hannah Ibbotson (abt1826-1903) on 12 July 1852 at Trinity, Habergham-Eaves, Burnley, Lancashire. Census returns identify five children.

  • Elizabeth (1855-1892) – married Thomas Guttridge, a tobacco traveller (1891), in 1879
  • Sarah Alice (1857-1928) – married Thomas Shuttleworth, a house painter, in 1880
  • Esther (1863-1927) – a cotton weaver (1891); married James Boys, a grocer, in 1896
  • Tom (1865-1927) – a loom fitter (1911)
  • Samuel (1869-1943) – a house painter (1911)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/550

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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