Barker, William (1856-1937)
William was born in 1856 at Pickering, Yorkshire to parents Thomas and Sarah. Thomas was a groom and coachman.
William was brought up at Whitby, Yorkshire. Before entering the ministry William was a sailor, a newspaper reporter and a schoolmaster. He had the option of entering the Anglican ministry, but preferred to remain true to the Primitive Methodists.
During a nine year term at Darwen, William built a beautiful church and raised over £1,000 a year for church purposes. During five years at Higher Ardwick, Manchester, he succeeded in reducing the debt by over £1,000 and increased the members’ roll.
William was a PM representative to the Toronto Ecumenical Conference in 1911. In the Manchester District he undertook twenty-one years of secretarial work. William was Secretary of Conference in 1910 at Tunstall. For many years William was chief Conference reporter for one of the connexional newspapers.
His obituary records that amidst his busy life, his passion for souls dominated everything he did. A rich humanity and an understanding mind deepened his influence on people amongst whom he worked. His powerful and vivid preaching, with its intelligent application to the problems of the people, made him a beloved teacher and friend.
William married Hannah Rebecca Boulton (1954-1938) in the summer of 1882 at Spilsby, Lincolnshire. Hannah was a daughter of Rev James Boulton. Census returns identify three of four children.
- William Boulton (1883-1950) – an optician
- Hilda Beacroft (1888-1965) – a schoolteacher (1911); married Ernest George Shepherd, a civil servant customs and excise (1939), in 1919
- Doris Wilson (b1890 – a milliner (1911)
William died on 22 October 1937 in Manchester, Lancashire.
- 1878 Sheffield V
- 1881 Clay Cross
- 1882 Sleaford
- 1884 Derby I
- 1886 Oldham I
- 1889 Bury
- 1890 Darwen
- 1899 Manchester V
- 1904 Manchester II
- 1911 Preston II
- 1915 Stockport II
- 1920 Manchester (S)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/422
Methodist Minutes 1938/183
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers