Butt, George Henry (1867-1949)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1917
benediction in Sesuto, with missionary George Butt's signature from Bramwell Hill's autograph book 1916
Christopher Hill 2020

Early years

George was born in 1867 at Wilton, Wiltshire, to parents George Edwin Butt and Sarah Jane Alford. George, senior, was a PM Minister.

George joined the Church whilst his father was stationed at Reading and was soon put on the plan. George had not settled his vocation, nor was he on ‘full plan’, when the Missionary Committee requested him to go out to the Aliwal North Mission to take charge of the Jamestown Church and day school.


On arriving in Aliwal North, George found that another teacher had been found for the day school at Jamestown. George therefore transferred his services to the Aliwal Native School and visited the Jamestown European Church every fortnight to take the services, a journey of thirty-six miles.

George toiled for twenty four years, combining the role of minister with that of being headmaster of an important school.

His obituary records that he was a minister of great devotion and faithfulness. His preaching was exegetical, and was marked by careful preparation.

The world of nature was a constant source of wonder to him, and astronomy was one of his special studies. He possessed a keen sense of humour, had a living interest in cricket, and played a good game of tennis until the end of the summer before his passing.

Kindliness and serenity, faithfulness and missionary zeal were the seals on the life of this servant of Christ.


George married Hilda Cusens (1870-1946) in 1896 in South Africa. Hilda used her gifts as an educationalist and musician to support the work of her husband. Census returns identify four of five children.

  • George Edward (1897-1968) – attending Bourne College (1911); a clerk (1918)
  • Frank Alford (1902-1986)
  • Alec (1905-1985)
  • Hilda Jane (1908-1964) – married Brian Alford Butt in 1936

George died on 17 March 1949 at Belmont, Surrey.


  • 1886 Aliwal North
  • 1911 Cwm
  • 1914 New Wandsworth
  • 1916 Wilton
  • 1921 Saffron Walden
  • 1925 Chatham
  • 1930 Chinnor
  • 1932 Kingston (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1917/816

Methodist Minutes 1949/141

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • I’ve added George Henry Butt’s signature from an autograph book he signed on a missionary deputation to Lower Stratton in 1916. It includes a benediction in Sesuto language.

    By Christopher Hill (13/05/2020)

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