Aspinall, Thomas (1782-1850)

Transcription of Obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Aspinall

THOMAS ASPINALL, Primitive Methodist travelling preacher. 

“Lived happy, and died happy, and was saved;
Be not surprised: he loved and served his God.”
POLLOCK

Mr. Aspinall was born at Chew-moor, Lancashire, 1782. His father was an officer, and died at the siege of Gibraltar. He was then left in the care of his widowed mother, who taught him “to fear God and keep his commandments,” but did not understand salvation by grace.

At the age of eighteen, he was severely afflicted and expected to die, but not beIng prepared he was mercifully restored. After his recovery, he occasionally attended the Methodist ministry, and when he was about the age of twenty-one, he was divinely enlightened, felt his need of a Saviour, trusted in Christ, and found pardon and peace through believing. He speedily joined the Wesleyan body, and in due time he became a local preacher and class leader. He subsequently united with our people, and was soon after called to the itinerancy by the Manchester circuit, and travelled in Manchester, Oldham, Preston, Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Sunderland, Preston, Rochdale, Warrington,  Silsden, and Chester circuits. it was his delight to lead sinners to Christ, and he was happily successful therein. He exhibited the power of the gospel in his example, and maintained in his public ministrations the privilege of believers to be redeemed from “all iniquity.” In the selection of texts he frequently chose those bearing on Christian perfection. He was often in “audience with the Deity;” in private he poured out his supplications for Zion’s weal. Prayer was the element in which he breathed, and he especially delighted in family prayer; and he had the joy of seeing all his children in the way to heaven some years before his death.

He was called to pass through a great fight of afflictions, personal and domestic. He brought up a large family in times of distress and amidst fluctuations of trade; yet he manifested an entire submission to the wisdom of Divine providence, and had an unshaken confidence in Jehovah. When “those that look out at the windows became darkened’’ – he losing his sight some six years before his death – and when the aspect of affairs was discouraging, he did not repine, but was fully satisfied that “All, all is right, by God ordained or done.”

When unable to read the Word of God, it afforded him support and consolation; his mind was richly furnished with its truths, and his faith therein was strong. His humility was deep, and his patience great, being matured through frequent exercise. As a Christian, he was worthy of imitation, active, cheerful, prayerful, and devout; as a husband and father, he was affectionate, and “walked before his house with a perfect heart;” and as a friend his attachment was pure and constant.

On the 1st of November, 1850, he was as well as usual, but about one o’clock the following morning he was seized with a paralytic stroke. He was not, however, deprived either of reason or speech, and during the day he succeeded in singing a hymn, commencing with “How tedious and tasteless the hours.”

His youngest son, who stood near his dying father, says, “On the day of his death my father preached most vigorously, founding his remarks on the following Scripture: ‘This day is salvation come to this house.’ The last words I heard him utter were: ‘I cross the Jordan ankle deep.’ “ Thus, on the 2nd of November, 1850, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, he finished his course and entered into rest.

*The long delay in sending this account is the reason why it is not placed among the Biographical Sketches, – ED.

Family

Thomas was born in 1782 at Chew Moor, Bolton, Lancashire, to parents Thomas and Mary. He was baptised on 5 November 1872 at Deane by Bolton, Lancashire.

He married Martha Howarth (b abt1796) on 6 August 1821 at Deane by Bolton. Census returns identify five children.

  • Thomas (b1823) – a PM Minister
  • Mary (b1825)
  • Martha (b1827)
  • William (b1829)
  • John (1833-1893) – a printer compositor (1851); later a Congregational minister

Thomas died on 2 November 1850 at Bolton, Lancashire.

Circuits

  • 1822 Manchester
  • 1823 Oldham
  • 1824 Preston
  • 1826 Liverpool
  • 1828 Manchester
  • 1829 Bradford
  • 1830 Newcastle
  • 1831 Sunderland
  • 1834 Newcastle
  • 1835 not shown
  • 1836 Preston
  • 1838 Rochdale
  • 1840 Warrington
  • 1841 Silsden
  • 1842 Chester
  • 1843 ceased

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1853/189

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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