Brown, Thomas Scott (1843-1885)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by A. Hebblethwaite

THOMAS SCOTT BROWN was born April 28, 1843, at Thackley, near Bradford, Yorkshire. His parents were thrifty and successful in business, which enabled them to give all their children a liberal education. ‘You must live with people to know them,’ is an old saying. Well, I lived two years during my ministerial probation under their home-roof, and found it to be a model home. Thomas Scott was intended to be a schoolmaster, and he most successfully followed this calling up to the time he entered the ministry. Though from earliest boyhood he was trained to attend religious services, it was not till the age of seventeen years that he realised Christ’s saving grace. Then he gave his hand to the church. It was soon manifest to the ablest judges that he was destined by the great Head of the Church to preach the Gospel. He proved to be a most acceptable preacher, and often was sought to take special services outside his own denomination; but he sought to ‘learn first to show piety at home,’ and ever worked for the ‘good that was nighest.’ His youthful devotedness to God and His church was great. His motto was ‘Live and serve,’ and he was ever ready for service or sacrifice. There have been few better class-leaders. He was most generous to the poor and to the funds of the church. He felt that every coin was literally God’s money, and resolved,

‘Keep my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.’

He redeemed his time, feeling that—

‘All must be earnest in a world like ours.’

For love of private devotion he was remarkable, and his general deportment—

‘Bore witness that he walked with God.’

He was made pure by fellowship with God, and his strength of mind and heart was developed as he wrestled with Him. At the age of twenty-one years he entered the ministry, not for bread but for souls. During his one year at Elmfield College, York, it was seen by men most able to judge that he was destined for great usefulness; and his successful examinations and labours during his probation proved him to be a workman that no one need be ashamed to own as a brother. 

He was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Emma Skinner, of Chacewater, Cornwall, who proved to be the womanliest of women, and the motherliest of mothers. They were well paired. He travelled with great acceptability twice in St. Day’s, twice in Redruth, in Seend Cleave Branch, in Warminster Branch, in Swansea, in Bath First, and Bristol Third. He was original, and worked ‘as the duty of every day required.’ He was an abstainer, a sound Liberal, and a real Christian. He was suddenly seized with enteritis on September 22nd. Despite the co-operation of prayer with the best skill of the physicians and friends, he, in a few days, ended his earth-life in manhood’s prime, leaving behind him a young wife and eight small children. The greatest sympathy was shewn to the poor widow and fatherless children. On the fourteenth of October his body-house was buried in East-hill cemetery. Our departed brother had, during the whole of his sickness, that perfect peace which comes from perfect trust, and he looked upon his death-hour to the temporal as being his birth-hour to the eternal.


Thomas was born on 28 April 1843 at Thackley, Yorkshire, to parents, Edward, a joiner, and Ann. He was baptised on 27 August 1843 at Holy Trinity, Idle, Yorkshire.

He married Emma Skinner (b1846) in the summer of 1871 at Chacewater, Cornwall. Census returns identify seven children.

  • Helena Lilian (1872-1929) – an assistant in dyer’s shop (1891); married Daniel Long, an insurance manager (1901), in 1897
  • Lucy (1874-1939) – a draper’s assistant (1891); married William Thomas Graham, a grocer and provision dealer (1911), in 1903
  • Julia Emma (1876-1938) – a milliner’s apprentice (1891); married James Burnip in 1898
  • Henry Skinner (1878-1964) – a doctor (1938)
  • Thomas Scott (1880-1951) – a hotel manager (1929)
  • Frank (b abt1882)
  • Anita (b1885) – a nurse (1911)

Thomas died on 10 October 1885 at Lorne House, Eastville, Stapleton, Gloucester.

Following the death of Thomas, Emma worked as a draper in Birmingham.


  • 1867 Stanstead
  • 1868 Bagshot
  • 1869 St Day
  • 1871 Seend Cove
  • 1872 Warminster
  • 1874 Redruth
  • 1875 St Day
  • 1878 Swansea
  • 1880 Redruth
  • 1882 Bath I
  • 1885 Bristol III


Methodist Minutes 1885/6

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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