Berryman, Thomas Henry (1880-1979)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS HENRY BERRYMAN: born at Medomsley, Co. Durham on 10th November 1880. After leaving school he worked in the local Co-operative stores and soon began preaching in his beloved Primitive Methodist chapel. Following his call and acceptance into the ministry he was trained at Hartley College. His first circuit was Doncaster where he met and married Elizabeth Frances Robson in 1909. There were two sons of the marriage. 

His further circuits were Nantwich, Stanley, Blackburn, Chester II, North Sunderland, Dunstable, Exmouth, and Hatherleigh where he retired in 1948. For thirty years he continued to serve the Methodist people preaching regularly in our country chapels and for a considerable time was pastor of the Baptist church until a new minister was appointed. 

He had a quiet, somewhat retiring disposition, but missed no opportunity of witnessing to his Lord. He encouraged his people to give freely, so that many churches which had debts when he arrived soon cleared them, and in some cases engaged in further building schemes. He had a life-long interest in things mechanical. He repaired clocks, built his own caravan and loved to take things apart to see how they worked! He read widely and was no mean writer. He had a play published by the Epworth Press and regularly contributed poems and articles to newspapers and journals. 

He was a man who had a deep, thinking faith, a great love for ordinary people and healthy independence of spirit and judgement. After the death of his first wife he married again and they lived happily in Hatherleigh until her death. He then remained in the town amongst his friends. His last years were spent in a Nursing Home in Okehampton, but shortly before his death he removed to Truro where he died on 4th May 1979 in the ninety-ninth year of his age and the seventy-fourth year of his ministry.


Thomas was born on 10 November 1880 at Medomsley, Co. Durham, to parents William, a coal miner, and Mary.

The 1901 census return records Thomas working as a grocer’s assistant.

He married Elizabeth Frances Robson (1880-1941) in late 1909 at Medomsley, Co. Durham. Census and birth records identify two children.

  • Maurice Gilbert (1911-1999) – a bank clerk & cashier (1939)
  • Eric Robson (1916-2014) – a solicitor (1939)

He married Gladys A Smith (1900-1964) in the spring of 1945 in the Devon Central Registration District.

Thomas died on 4 May 1979 at Truro, Cornwall.


  • Hartley
  • 1905 Doncaster I
  • 1909 Nantwich & Burland
  • 1912 Stanley
  • 1916 Blackburn I
  • 1920 Chester II
  • 1923 Sunderland N
  • 1930 Dunstable
  • 1938 Exmouth
  • 1944 Hatherleigh
  • 1948 Hatherleigh (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1979/59

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Rev Berryman’s circuit 1923-1930 was North Sunderland which is on the Northumberland coast 70 miles north of the city of Sunderland. The understandable confusion lead to the circuit changing its name to Seahouses in the 1950’s.

    By George Scott (29/05/2019)

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