Bennett, William (1822-1888)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1876

Early years

William was born on 18 August 1822 at East Leake, Nottinghamshire, the second son of Thomas and Lizzy. William’s mother was the sister of John, William and James Garner.

Family circumstances did not allow William to attend day school. He was sent out to work aged 9. He attended Sunday School and self-studied.

William was converted aged 17 through the efforts of his mother and older brother John, a local preacher. At the age of 22 he appeared on the plan of the Belper station.


William twice was a General Committee delegate from the Leeds District. He also spent 8 years as Secretary of the General Chapel Fund.

His obituary records that his sound judgement in business matters, his prudence in dealing with difficult cases, his tender regard for those overtaken in a fault, his faithful and straightforward conduct towards the habitually inconsistent, made him an able administrator and a good superintendent.

In pastoral work, he was eminently diligent, wise and useful. He never coveted the distinction of being a great preacher. His pulpit efforts were not learned, philosophical or rhetorical, but his style was plain and forceful, his teaching sound and Methodistic, and his matter experimental and practical.

His open air efforts were often mighty and led people to weep and shout for joy. With a well-knit frame, a good presence, a fine voice, an expressive face, a soul on fire, and rich unction, he frequently moved his audiences like forest fires before a strong wind.


William married Elizabeth Leng (1827-1917) in the summer of 1853 at Thirsk. William and Elizabeth had eleven children, three of whom died in infancy. Census returns identify the following.

  • James Garner (1854-1875) – a teacher
  • John (1855-1943) – a PM Minister
  • Edwin (b1857) – a warehouseman in 1881, may have emigrated to USA
  • Emily (b1858) – a housekeeper in 1881
  • Arthur (1860-1939) – a warehouseman
  • Albert (1863-1928) – a pharmacist
  • Ada (b1864) – a dressmaker
  • Abner (b1866) – a draper, emigrated to New Zealand
  • Annie (b1870)

William died on 5 August 1888 at Normanton, nr Wakefield, Yorkshire.


  • 1849 Silsden
  • 1850 York
  • 1851 Thirsk
  • 1853 Huddersfield
  • 1854 Halifax
  • 1856 Easingwold
  • 1858 Keighley
  • 1861 Pontefract
  • 1863 Malton
  • 1865 Ripon
  • 1867 Wakefield
  • 1869 Bingley
  • 1872 Bradford l
  • 1875 Bradford ll
  • 1877 Huddersfield
  • 1880 Leeds ll
  • 1884 Leeds Vll
  • 1885 Pontefract
  • 1887 Normanton


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1876 (portrait); 1890/114

PM Minutes 1889/30

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • I have been looking through some of the other entries and I think the work you have done is fantastic . For the record my middle name is Garner and so I was fascinated in some of the details you have uncovered about this side of the family . Many thanks for all your hard work . Brian

    By Brian Bennett (10/05/2013)
  • I was very interested to read the above . I had most of these details but not the picture which some suggest bears a family resemblance to other members of the family ! However I thought his wife was Eliza Leng baptized Bessy but I will check the originals . Perhaps more of interest maybe be some letters from John Bennett , son of the above . Regards Brian Bennett

    By Brian Bennett (09/05/2013)
  • Brian, Thanks for your comment. Having re-checked the Births, Marriages and Deaths data I used, I find that I have mis-transcribed Leng as Long. I have corrected the text above. The marriage record in BMD says Elizabeth Leng (Q3, 1853, Thirsk, Vol 9d, page 517) – I have not seen the actual marriage certificate.

    By Geoff Dickinson (09/05/2013)

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