Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by George Windram
WILLIAM MILES BARRATT was born into a religious home, December 3rd, 1840, in the town of Nottingham. His parents were members and local preachers with the Primitive Methodist connexion for over fifty years. When about 15 years of age he gave his heart to God, and his hand to the church with which his parents were identified. While but a youth his name was put on the local preachers’ plan, and ultimately he was called into the regular ministry, during the superintendence of Dr. S. Antliff (who was then stationed at Nottingham). Belper was his first circuit, where he stayed for one year. He afterwards travelled at Leicester First, Ilkeston, Horncastle, Holbeach, London Second circuit, Jersey, Baldock, Newport, I.W., London Sixth circuit, London Tenth circuit, Woburn Sands, Northampton First, and Kiveton Park, completing 29 years of ministerial work.
He was a Christian gentleman, and by his kind, genial, happy manner drew around him his officials and members, and won their love and confidence. He was industrious on his circuits, punctual in his habits, and showed great aptitude for business, which he managed with great skill. In his spiritual work he sought by all means to save some, and to advance the Redeemer’s Kingdom. His preaching was pre-eminently practical. With a fine physique, a good voice, clear delivery, and easy flow of good Saxon, he commanded and held the attention of his audiences to the gospel themes on which it was ever his delight to descant, for the glory of his Master and the salvation of men.
His removal (from the human side) was sudden and unexpected. Though for several weeks he had been unwell, and he had complained of an affection of the heart, weakness, and at times a great difficulty of breathing, yet no thought was entertained that his end was so near. He continued to take his circuit work with but an occasional intermission, and was preparing to preach on the following Sabbath, when on the morning of December 12th he fell asleep to awake in the likeness of God. ‘Many fall as suddenly, but few so safely.’ A favourite remark with him was, ‘Sudden death, sudden glory.’ He has proved what he so often proclaimed, ‘To die is gain.’ ‘The eye of true life can see clear through the dispensation of dying, and behold the gain;’ can see through the ‘troubled night of the final act of man upon earth, and gladden itself with the sight of the morning glory that falls for ever on the hills of heaven.’
William was born on 3 December 1838 (not 1840) at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, to parents John, a lace maker, and Martha.
He married Jemima Hall (1840-1929) in the summer of 1865 at Nottingham. Jemima worked as a lace mender before her marriage (1861). Census returns identify three children.
- Thomas William (abt1871-1908) – a clerk (1891); a clothier’s assistant (1901)
- Stuart James Hall (1873-1951) – a coal merchant’s traveller (1929)
- Archibald Arthur (1886-1974) – a commercial traveller in boot trade (1911)
William died on 12 December 1890 at Kiveton Park, Sheffield, Yorkshire.
Note: Online records identify him as William Mines Barratt.
- 1861 Belper
- 1862 Mansfield
- 1863 Leicester I
- 1864 Ilkeston
- 1865 Horncastle
- 1866 Spaling & Holbeach
- 1868 London II
- 1870 Jersey
- 1871 Baldock
- 1875 Newport, IoW
- 1878 London VI
- 1880 London X
- 1882 Tottenham
- 1883 Woburn Sands
- 1886 Northampton I
- 1889 Kiveton Park
PM Minutes 1891/12
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers