Alford, Albert (1842-1873)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine

The subject of this brief sketch was born at Mere, in the Motcombe circuit, September 5, 1842. His parents for many years had been members of the Primitive Methodist Society, and under their hospitable roof our ministers have for many years found a home to which they have been ever welcomed with a heartiness truly praiseworthy. While the Rev. G. Obern  travelled in the Motcombe circuit, a glorious revival of religion broke out in many places – at Mere a great change for the better took place especially among the young; numbers got converted, and among them our departed brother. He was then about thirteen years of age, and having thus given his heart to God in his early youth he was preserved from that waste of time so characteristic in the young, and applying himself to reading and self-improvement he was early qualified to fill the position of local preacher amongst us. This office was given him by his native circuit, and his name appeared upon the circuit plan until 1861, when he removed to Southampton. In 1862 being deemed suitable for the ministry, he was taken out to travel by the Southampton circuit, and pledged in 1863. In the July of this year he removed to the Malmesbury circuit. In 1864, in opposition to the wishes of his circuit, he was removed and stationed to the Newbury circuit. After travelling here for one year, feeling his strength unequal to the labours of a travelling preacher, he resigned the ministry. In 1865 he married Miss Obern, the daughter of the Rev. G. Obern, and with his young wife went to reside at Southampton. Here he commenced business for himself, and meeting with difficulties, he struggled manfully on, fought his way through, and with true hearted earnestness threw himself into the work of God. The writer knew him intimately, and it gives him unfeigned pleasure to speak of the depth of his piety, purity of life, and increasing interest in all that appertained to the well-being of God’s cause. As a preacher his services were everywhere held in high estimation, and so earnest, true and devoted was the character of his life of late, that when his death was known in the circuit there was general regret, and it was evident he held a place in the affections of the people. This to us seemingly untimely event happened March 15, 1873, after about six days illness. But it found him fully prepared. When asked by his brother how matters stood betwixt him and God, his reply was, “not a doubt – not the shadow of doubt, all is right.” Speaking to another brother, he said, “some build upon sand, some upon rock. I build upon rock, and find it firm footing.” He leaves a young widow with three little children to fight their way through the world. May He who has declared himself the “Father of the fatherless and husband of the widow,” take them under his fatherly care and protection, and open up to them in His merciful providence what now appears a very unpropitious future.


Albert was born on 5 September 1842 at Mere, Wiltshire, to parents John Alford, a blacksmith, and SarahTurner. His brother, Edward, was also a PM Minister.

Albert was a tailor by trade.

Albert married Georgina Obern (1845-1932) in early 1866 at Malmesbury. She was the daughter of George Obern, a PM minister. Census returns identify four children.

  • Ada Georgina (1867-1950) – married Alfred Barnard Noble, a shipping clerk, in 1900
  • Kate (b1868) – an apprentice dressmaker (1881)
  • Florence (1870-1930) – married Benjamin George Johnson, an army pensioner (1911), in 1897; married Wybert Sandoe in 1922
  • Albert George (1873-1960) – a manger of a boot store (1911); a general labourer (1939)

Albert died on 15 March 1873 at Southampton, Hampshire.

Georgina married George Gent in early 1898.


  • 1862 Southampton
  • 1863 Malmesbury
  • 1864 Newbury
  • 1865 retired


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1874/618

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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