Bird, William Robert (1854-1943)

Transcription of obituary published in the  Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM R. BIRD: a distinguished figure in the former Primitive Methodist Church as a circuit minister, and for six years as Connexional Evangelist. Hull, Leeds, and Chester notably shared his industry, which included Biblical exposition and preaching of a high order. He promoted sainthood and made many converts throughout his ministry. 

He was a man of gracious spirit, loved by his people and trusted and honoured by his brethren. He was a careful and efficient administrator, and loved the Word, which he expounded with mystical insight and fervent spirit. Hundreds found Christ under his gentle persuasion, and the conventions he held for the deepening of the spiritual life lifted many to new realms of religious experience. He was an East Anglian, born at Fakenham in 1854, and he entered the Ministry in 1874, serving actively for forty-seven years, and on retiring to Bexhill-on-Sea in 1921 he found congenial literary activity. He passed away on November 27, 1943, in his eighty-ninth year and the sixty-ninth of his ministry.

Family

William was born on 22 October 1854 at Fakenham, Norfolk, to parents Joseph, a shoemaker, and Elizabeth.

Before entering the ministry, William worked as a clerk 91871).

He married Catherine Ellen Boulden (1855-1939) in the summer of 1878 in the Milton Registration District, Kent. Census returns identify two children.

  • Alice Ethel (1880-1933) – married Norman Ewart Horbury, a pharmacist, in 1911; died in Capetown, South Africa
  • Clifford Boulden (1885-1956) – chemist’s assistant (1911); a labourer, RSAF Enfield (1939)

William died on 27 November 1943 in the Edmonton Registration District, Essex.

Circuits

  • 1874 Sheerness
  • 1877 Belfast
  • 1878 Hull IV
  • 1881 Hull V
  • 1882 Hull I
  • 1885 Leeds I
  • 1889 Leeds III
  • 1893 Chester
  • 1899 Swindon II
  • 1901 Southport II
  • 1903 Connectional Evangelist
  • 1909 Hull VI
  • 1910 Harrow
  • 1913 Forest Hill
  • 1916 Enfield
  • 1921 Bexhill (Sup)

References

Methodist Minutes 1944/125

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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