Weale, Benjamin (1846-1920)

Christian Messenger 1907

Transcription of ‘Sketch’ in the Christian Messenger

The Deputy-Mayor of Ludlow – Alderman B. Weale – has during a remarkable and strenuous local preachership of forty-three years merited a place in this Gallery. Having a Wesleyan parentage, heredity and environment assisted in his becoming the character he is. At the age of eighteen a spiritual crisis entered his life. Sin became an awfully real thing and God its sure avenger. He resolved to be free from it or to perish in the effort. The struggle was in the farm shed, and there assurance entered his consciousness which he has possessed ever since.

On removing to Ludlow he pioneered a new society on the outskirts of the town which has been the centre of an earnest and aggressive evangelism for upwards of thirty years. Although the head of a large business, he has found the time to conduct missions in large centres as distant as Blackheath, Darlaston, Church Gresley, Scarborough and Barnsley. Still his best work has been done in his own circuit, which he still services in full natural vigour and unsullied reputation. He is a class leader, society steward, trustee for five properties, and has served as station steward. He has represented his Circuit in District meeting twice, and has been pressed to go on to Conference. It is his joy to be united in good works by a Christian helpmeet and an extensive family.

Last year he worthily filled the mayoral chair of the borough, and was urged by both parties to retain it a second year. His acceptance of office was conditional that the Corporation and town officials accompanied him to his own place of worship, which was done with uncommon heartiness and unanimity.

T.C.

Family and other information

Benjamin was born abt 1846 at Onibury, Shropshire, to parents Thomas and Sarah. Thomas was a carpenter.

Census returns identify Benjamin’s occupations.

  • 1861 general servant
  • 1871 builder and timber merchant
  • 1881 master builder
  • 1891 builder and contractor
  • 1901 builder and contractor
  • 1911 builder

Benjamin’s ‘home’ chapel was East Hamlet Church in the Ludlow Circuit. His obituary records that religiously, Benjamin was a practical mystic. He bore his witness with an emphasis of certainty and passion that made people wonder. His theology was severely puritanical, and his zeal in declaring the “whole counsel of God” most impressive.

Benjamin married Betsy Evans (abt1848-1887) in the spring of 1868 at Ludlow. Census returns identify ten children.

  • Mary Jane (abt1869-1951) – married Charles Haynes, a house painter, in 1889
  • John (abt1871-1936) – a builder
  • William (1872- – an insurance agent (1911); emigrated to Canada in 1923
  • Charles Edward (1874-1946) – a farmer (1911)
  • Helena Sarah (Jane) (b1876) – married Samuel John Bennett, a farmer, in 1897
  • Elizabeth Ann (1877-1897)
  • Clara (b1880)
  • Minnie May (1882-1919) – married Oscar John Morgan, a farmer, in 1903
  • Richard Benjamin (abt1884-1962) – a farmer
  • Eliza Margaret (1885-1967)

Benjamin married Mary Kirkham (1845-1924) in the spring of 1889 in the Dudley Registration District, Staffordshire.

Benjamin died on 6 May 1920 at Ludlow, Shropshire.

References

Christian Messenger 1907/162

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920/729

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

 

Comments about this page

  • Benjamin Weale was also the architect of the British Schools in Old Street, Ludlow, built in 1896.
    Source:
    Leominster News and North West Herefordshire and Radnorshire Advertiser, 17 April 1896, page 8.
    —————————–
    In addition, Benjamin Weale was the builder of the Rock Lane Mission schoolrooms erected in 1880.
    Source:
    Wellington Journal, 19 June 1880, page 5.

    By Janice Cox (26/10/2020)
  • The full text of the account of his memorial service (see above) is:
    “Memorial Service
    On Sunday a memorial service to the late Alderman Benjamin Weale, of Sandpits Villa, was held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, East Hamlet. There was a very large congregation. For half an hour before the service the choir rendered a number of [the] deceased’s favourite hymns. The Rev. W. Dudley, Blackheath, conducted the service. During the service the choir rendered the anthem “Vital Spark”. The Rev. Dudley preached and referred in feeling terms to the life of the deceased. At the conclusin of the service Miss Cheese, who presided at the organ, played “I know that my Redeember liveth”.”

    By Janice Cox (26/10/2020)
  • Mr B. Weale also took part in the stone laying ceremony of Bache Mill Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in August 1879.

    Source: Wellington Journal 16 August 1879 page 5.

    By Janice Cox (26/10/2020)
  • Benjamin Weale was not only very active as a Primitive Methodist preacher, but also as a local councillor, and as a builder. He is known to have been involved in the building of three P.M. chapels, viz; Angel Bank in Bitterley parish in 1881; Upper Hayton in 1877; New Street, in Sandpits, Ludlow in 1878-9, as well as being the builder of the Salvation Army Barracks in Ludlow in 1888.

    By Janice Cox (21/10/2020)
  • Benjamin Weale was the mayor of Ludlow 1905-6. Following his death, there was an account of his memorial service held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Sandpits (or East Hamlet as it was also known) which was published in the “Kington Times” of 22 May 1920, page 6.

    By Janice Cox (20/10/2020)

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