Abey, Richard (1797-1876)


Richard was born on 14 October 1797 at Barnetby, Lincolnshire, to parents William, a landowner (14 acres) and Isabel.

His diary (which can be viewed at John Rylands Library, Manchester) records that Richard attended Mr Edmondson’s school for 3 years. He was not apprenticed and his teenage years were spent in a variety of jobs. He became hired to a miller in Stallingborough, then became a servant to his brother William, who had done rather better, for he rented a farm at Cockerington. At the end of a year with William he worked at a mill in Tealby, then another mill at Haborough. It was here that he joined the Weslyan society and even tried preaching.

Another brother, John, owned a mill and Richard took over the mill when John decided to enter the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church. After a year, however, the mill fell down. Poverty struck again. He married Sarah Colton, the maid to Mr G Tennyson of Tealby and the two of them took a mill at Kelsey Riverhead, but once more it was a short-lived job. He then rented a 10 acre farm and added to his small income leading coals, but debts increased and poverty dogged his path.

He had to give up the farm, returned to Barnetby and became dependent upon such employment as he could find. His wife died after 3 years and it was then his brother John invited him to share in the work of the ministry in Yorkshire.

He married a second time on 16 December 1827 to Eliza Coad (1803-1968) at Gwennap, Cornwall. The diary ends abruptly in 1829, when at the same time his name is no longer on the Stations of the Primitive Methodist Connexion.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Richard.

  • 1841 tea dealer
  • 1851 house proprietor
  • 1861 house and land proprietor
  • 1871 retired farmer

Census returns identify nine children.

  • Barnabas (1828-1877) – a platelayer (1876)
  • Eliza Sarah (1831-1877) – married George Crompton, a blacksmith, in 1860
  • William (1834-1900) – apprentice cordwainer (1851); emigrated to Australia (1855)
  • Jabez (1835-1920) – a joiner (1876)
  • John (1838-1899) – a carpenter
  • Theophilis (1840-1899) – a labourer
  • Adolphus (1840-1917) – a blacksmith striker (1871)
  • Grace (1842-1920) – married James Bond, a labourer, in 1872
  • Robert (b abt1845) – a grocer & draper (1876)
  • Jane (1847-1884) – assistant dress and mask maker (1871)

Richard died on 20 June 1876 at Barnetby-le-Wold, Lincolnshire.


  • 1824 S Shields & Newcastle
  • 1825 Hull
  • 1826 Hull & London
  • 1827 Hull
  • 1828 Redruth
  • 1829 St Austell
  • 1830 disappears


W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *