Widdowson, William James (1874-1912)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine

Bro. W. J. Widdowson was, after a very brief illness, transferred from the Church here to the great company in the heavens. He was a Londoner by birth, and in all respects a real gentleman. His parents were in a position to give him a first-class education at King’s College, London, after which he became a teacher in one of our fine London schools. He was a teacher fourteen years, and the whole period in the same school. He had matriculated at the university, and was on the eve of his B.A. 

He was one of the most gentlemanly, affectionate, and willing disciples of the Master it has been our fortune to know and labour with. His gifts and training splendidly equipped him for the work of a local preacher, a work he loved. His services were of a high order and in great demand, and his response was perhaps too ready for his strength.

In addition to his labours in the day school and local preaching he was examiner for the Old Bailey Sunday School Union for several years. His labours consumed his strength. We often feared the result of his strenuous tasks. His passing at the age of thirty-seven is a great blow to our College Park Church, with which he was connected. He had endeared himself to us all, especially the C.E., of which he was president. His learning and wealth of information was a real gain to our young people, and the influence he exhaled sweetened and ennobled them. He was a man of great promise, a charming companion, a brother beloved. 

May his young widow and three young children be directed and strengthened by our Father in heaven. The funeral service was conducted by Revs. R.R. Connell and W.J. Price.


William was born in the spring of 1874 in South Kensington, London, to parents William Henry Widdowson, a distiller of spirits (1881), and Annie Hammerton.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1891 scholar
  • 1901 assistant school master
  • 1911 elementary school teacher

He married Agnes Shailer (1876-1960) in the summer of 1902 in the Fulham Registration District, London. Census returns identify three children.

  • Percival Baley (1904-1959) – a civil servant at G.P.O. (1939)
  • Sydney (1906-1958) – a railway signal fitter (1939)
  • William Marathon (1908-1968) – worked as a wages clerk for railway, 1924-1927

William died in the summer of 1912 at Willesden, Middlesex.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/157

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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