Beckerlegge, Barzillai (1854-1934)

Illuminated address from Mountain Ash Circuit
Englesea Brook Museum
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

Early years

Barzillai was born on 29 June 1854 at Newlyn, Penzance, Cornwall to parents John Nicholls Beckerleg and Mary Ann Trevelyan. His parents were both members of the Primitive Methodist Church. John worked as a fisherman.

Barzillai was deeply impressed by the preaching of Rev Joseph Harding, and during a serious illness, and after a dream of his conversion, he was led to fully surrender himself to Christ. Although he heard the call to ministry, he felt the responsibility to great and personally unfit for the work. In 1876, Barzillai was persuaded to accept a position of honorary lay preacher in the Newport (Mon) circuit. Here, under the superintendency of Rev J H Best, his labours were fruitful, and having passed the candidates examination he became a ‘fisher of men’. Barzillai had worked as a fisherman.


His obituary records that Barzillai was of a studious nature, his pulpit work was the result of careful preparation. He was a good pastor, and cultivated intimate associations with his people, proving himself their friend and counsellor. He took an active interest in Free Church and social affairs, and was a keen temperance advocate.

Barzillai served as Secretary to the Devon and Cornwall District Building Committee and to the South Wales District Orphanage Committee.


Barzillai married Sarah Boorman (1851-1940) in the spring of 1882 at Tonbridge, Kent. Census returns identify five children of six children.

  • Wilfred (1884-1958) – supplementary clerk, GPO stores department (1911)
  • Marion (1886-1960) – elementary school teacher (1911)
  • John Joseph (1887-1977) – elementary school teacher (1911)
  • Ellen (1889-1977) – student training for teaching (1911)
  • Thomas Trevelyan (1890-1973) – a civil servant

Barzillai died on 18 March 1934 at Mountain Ash, Glamorgan.


  • 1877 Ashford
  • 1878 Aldershot
  • 1880 Tunbridge Wells
  • 1882 Chichester
  • 1885 Marlborough
  • 1888 Colnbrook & Uxbridge
  • 1891 Merthyr Tydfil
  • 1894 Chichester
  • 1897 Exmouth
  • 1901 Cheltenham
  • 1904 Mountain Ash
  • 1911 Worcester
  • 1914 Maldon
  • 1918 West Ham
  • 1921 Exeter (Sup)
  • 1925 Mountain Ash


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/961

Methodist Minutes 1934/217

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • An illuminated address, presented to Revd & Mrs B Beckerlegge when they left Mountain Ash Circuit in 1911, is in the collection at Englesea Brook Museum of Primitive Methodism, and an image of it has been added to this page. 

    By Jill Barber (30/08/2018)

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