Bonney, Thomas (1879-1966)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS BONNEY: born at Blackburn in 1879. He entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1904 after training at Hartley College. He served in the following circuits: Plymouth, Crowle (twice), Sheffield, Motherwell, Peel, Wallingford, Worksop, Shildon, Staithes, Bury, Thirsk, Orrell, Bromsgrove, Leigh, Patrington, Hoyland, retiring in 1952 to his native town of Blackburn. 

Of choice his ministry was among those who worked with their hands, in the mine, at the loom, on the land. Prior to entering the ministry he had nine years business experience and training which helped to equip him for his long ministry during which he was a superintendent for thirty-one years. He was most conscientious in the administration of all his circuits, painstaking as a preacher and a devoted pastor. 

His indomitable spirit was seasoned with a shrewd kindliness and a real love for people whatever their race or rank. While in the Isle of Man during the First World War he ministered to German prisoners of war as well as to his own countrymen. In his zeal for total abstinence and social righteousness he gladly and enthusiastically served as District Secretary for Education and Temperance in the Primitive Methodist Church. Such was the strength of his constitution, the vigour of his mind and his desire to serve Christ without remission that after forty-six years in the active ministry his retirement could not be inactive and he served for two years as an active supernumerary in the Haslingden Circuit. During the years of his retirement he was most zealous in his attendance at Synod and in sharing in the work and worship of his church. Declining strength prevented him from taking an active part latterly, but his pastoral ministry was continued in his home where ministers and lay members of the church were always welcome guests. He died on 17 July 1966, in the eighty-eighth year of his age and the sixty-second of his ministry.


Thomas was born on 1 March 1879 at Blackburn, Lancashire, to parents Thomas, a pawnbroker (1891), and Elizabeth.

The 1901 census records Thomas as clerk & traveller.

He married Clara Hartland (1884-1941) in the summer of 1913 at Burslem, Staffordshire.

He married Maud Lillian Holmes (1904-1991) in early 1943 at Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Thomas died on 17 July 1966 at Blackburn, Lancashire.


  • Hartley
  • 1904 Plymouth
  • 1906 Crowle
  • 1908 Sheffield III
  • 1911 Motherwell
  • 1914 Peel
  • 1916 Wallingford
  • 1919 Worksop
  • 1922 Sheldon
  • 1925 Staithes
  • 1929 Bury II
  • 1933 Thirsk
  • 1934 Orrell
  • 1937 Bromsgrove
  • 1940 Leigh &c
  • 1941 Patrington
  • 1942 Crowle
  • 1945 Hoyland
  • 1950 Haslingden (S)


Methodist Minutes 1967/178

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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