Taylor, William Young (1806-1875)

Transcription of Obituary in The Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1876, pp 628-29

William Young Taylor was born at Eastoft, Epworth circuit, Lincolnshire, June 9, in the year 1806, and died in the Lord at the same place, January 13, 1875, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. About the year 1840, through faith in Christ he was soundly converted. From that tie to the day of his death he retained his confidence. As a father he was strict, but affectionate, and paid great attention to his children. He was remarkably punctual at family prayer, both night and morning. He prayed and pleased for the conversion of his children, and was favoured by seeing the conversion of the greater part of them. Very soon after his conversion to God, he began to preach the Gospel, and continued to do this for about thirty-three years. He was one of the most successful and laborious workers in the cause of Christ. He walked many miles and worked hard to advance Primitive Methodism when friends and homes were few, and suffered persecution for its sake. He could rejoice inasmuch as his labour was not in vain in the Lord. Just a few days before his death, a fellow traveller to Zion said to him, “Many souls will be the crown of your rejoicing in the day of God.” Brother J. Hird, of Keadby, in a letter to us says, “My acquaintance with him commenced nearly thirty years ago. I was much interested with him at that time on account of his lively and earnest manner during a service which I conducted at Eastoft; his hearty responses helped me very much. His services always appeared more than ordinarily acceptable, in fact in some places and with many people he was very popular, and only few in Epworth circuit rendered better service to the cause of God and Primitive Methodism than did Billy Taylor, as he was commonly called.”

During his last illness his sufferings were not so protracted as those of many, yet they were severe. In the midst of them all his spirit rejoiced in God his Saviour. Friends of other churches and our own members were very much blessed and encouraged by their visits to him. His exemplary life and dying counsel tell on the hearts of many of those who survive. Brother Taylor had his imperfections, but we would cover them with the vail [sic] of Christian charity. We would forget them all and learn to imitate his virtue and goodness. We would follow Christ as he followed him, and then shall we meet again, where sorrows and partings are no more. As our brother approached nearer the goal, he often repeated the beautiful lines of Dr Watts,

“I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath,” etc.

After he had repeated the verse, he would say, “Yes, I will. I will. Yes, I will.” Meaning that he would praise the Lord in heaven for ever. By and bye his strength failed him, and the angels of God came to his dying couch with the chariot of fire, and entering therein, he was conveyed to the rest that remaineth for the people of God. On the 16th of January 1875, devout men carried him to his place of burial in Eastoft churchyard, where he sleeps in sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection unto eternal life. On Sunday afternoon, February 21, 1875, Rev. John Harrison, of Crowle, preached his funeral sermon to a good congregation, in the Primitive Methodist Chapel at Eastoft, from the words, “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.” The service throughout was deeply solemn, and we believe lasting impressions for good were made.


Family information

William was the son of Young and Margaret Taylor. He married Hannah, and from information given in the Census Returns they had at least 10 children: Nancy (1828), Margaret (1832), William (1835), Mary (1838), Edward (1840), Hannah (1842), Young (1844), Amelia (1847), John (1850), Jane Ann (1857).

He was a farm labourer, but in the 1861 census is described as a Farmer of 5 and a half acres, and in the 1871 census as a Farmer of 8 acres, and a Local Preacher. From information supplied by his 3 x great grandson, his son Young Taylor also became a Primitive Methodist Local Preacher.

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