Bell, Freer (1859-1943)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918

Early years

Freer was born in 1859 at Goxhill, Lincolnshire, to parents William Hunter Bell and Fanny Gilliatt. William worked as a joiner and painter. Freer was baptised on 13 November 1859 at Barrow upon Humber.


Freer had an interest in temperance, education, and political and social reform, but the ordinary work of the PM Minister was his meat and drink.

His obituary records that he had an alert mind, and was an evangelical preacher devoted to the welfare of young people; he gathered around him a band of young men who spoke thankfully of his influence among them. He had distinct business abilities and carried through several building schemes, seeking to improve everywhere the material aids to his spiritual work.

He suffered three terms of imprisonment for conscience sake as a Passive Resistor.


Freer married Ada Gertrude Hagestadt (1860-1946) in the spring of 1889 at Patrington, Yorkshire. Ada was an organist, Sunday school teacher and social worker. Census returns identify one of two children.

  • Monica Patricia (1892-1973)

Freer died on 26 March 1943 at Bristol, Gloucestershire.


  • 1885 Worcester
  • 1886 Patrington
  • 1888 Scarborough
  • 1889 Pembroke Dock
  • 1893 Patrington
  • 1900 Rotherham
  • 1903 Alfreton
  • 1907 Worcester
  • 1911 Bristol VI
  • 1914 Midsomer Norton
  • 1918 Falmouth
  • 1927 St Austell
  • 1929 St Austell (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918/76

Methodist Minutes 1943/132

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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