Bryant, Robert (1842-1905)
Robert was born on 9 February 1842 at Northwold, Norfolk, to parents Robert and Mary. Robert senior worked the land.
Robert had little by way of educational opportunities and at the age of fourteen began to work as a stonemason. He had a towering physique. He was working as a mason in Sheffield, Yorkshire, at the time of the 1861 census.
Robert was converted at the age of fourteen and united with the Wesleyan Church. He joined the Primitive Methodists at Princess Street when he moved to Sheffield at the age of seventeen. He quickly became a local preacher and entered into the ministry in the Sheffield II circuit. From 1860 to 1864, John attended a local Institute to improve his education and later employed a private tutor.
Robert’s first superintendent was Rev John Wenn and, associated with him, was Rev Charles Lace. These two experienced ministers mentored the new minister, particularly in developing his studies and mental habits.
Robert became a Superintendent himself at Leicester in 1875. His obituary records that he was not a diplomat, and cared little for some of the things which help to smooth the track in difficult times, but he was conscientious, straightforward and upright. In his work as a circuit minister he was highly regarded for both his preaching and his pastoral work
Robert delivered the Hartley Lecture in 1899 entitled, ‘Inspiration and Revelation’. He became Book Steward in 1900.
Robert married Sarah Susannah Thomason (1850-1929) in late 1869 at Sleaford, Lincolnshire. Sarah was the daughter of Rev Joseph Thomason. Census returns identify four children.
- Robert Joseph Thomason (1871-1951) – a schoolmaster
- William Arthur (1874-1950) – a PM Minister
- Eleanor Fanny (1878-1883)
- Gertrude Sarah (1881-1972) – married David Thomason Dickinson, a representative, scientific apparatus manufacturer (1911)
Robert died on 29 June 1905 at Holloway, London.
- 1865 Sheffield II
- 1866 Rotherham
- 1868 Sheffield I
- 1871 Nottingham I
- 1875 Leicester I
- 1878 Rotherham
- 1884 Church Gresley
- 1889 Leicester I
- 1894 Grantham
- 1897 Clay Cross
- 1898 Nottingham III
- 1900 London Holloway
- 1905 London Holloway (S)
- Book Steward 1900-5
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1900/673; 1905/873
PM Minutes 1906/7
H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p388
R Newman Wycherley, The Pageantry of Methodist Union, 1932, p175
W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers