Brass, William (1856-1937)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914

Early years

William was born on 28 August 1856 at Bath, Somerset to parents William John Brass and Ellen Blackwell. William, senior, was a boot and shoemaker.

William yielded himself to Jesus Christ in 1868 under the ministry of Rev Samuel Griffith. When he answered the call to ministry in 1877, William was recommended for the Sunderland Institute. There was no vacancy, so he was advised to go to Manchester in preparation for his future work. There he resided with Rev J Macpherson and studied at Owen’s College.


In 1879, William was appointed, under exceptional circumstances, to Altrincham, in the Lymm circuit, the chapel there having become involved in financial difficulties. His labours there were rewarded by arrears of interest being cleared off, the principal debt reduced and the estate placed in a solvent condition.

In his preaching, William has almost entirely followed the expository method, and has avoided the charge of giving to the people in his pulpit ministrations that which has “cost him nothing.”

William served in two districts as Sunday School Secretary.

His obituary records that William was a true Christian gentleman in thought word and deed, possessing lofty qualities of mind and heart which led him to become a diligent pastor, forceful preacher, wise administrator, tactful counsellor, and a true friend.


William married Clara Robinson (1855-1895) on 27 June 1883 at Chorlton, Manchester.

William married Elizabeth Melton Brown (abt 1865-1909), a widow, in the spring of 1897 at Bath, Somerset.

William married Mary Ellen Jenks (1872-1946) in late 1912 at Bristol, Gloucestershire.

William died on 29 June 1937 at Oakengates, Shropshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1878 Blackburn II
  • 1879 Lymm
  • 1880 Douglas II
  • 1882 Lancaster
  • 1883 Gloucester
  • 1885 Boston
  • 1886 Baldock
  • 1888 Maryport
  • 1892 Grays & Romford
  • 1894 Walthamstow
  • 1897 Bristol I
  • 1900 Burton on Trent
  • 1903 Dartford
  • 1905 Bedford I
  • 1906 Clacton on Sea
  • 1907 Shaftsbury
  • 1909 Faringdon
  • 1911 Kelsale
  • 1912 Church Stretton
  • 1915 Supernumerary
  • 1918 Frome (Ac)
  • 1919 Wrockwardinewood
  • 1922 Wrockwardinewood (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1897/148 (Clara); 1914/254

Methodist Minutes 1937/213

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Elizabeth Brown (nee Duxson) was divorced from her husband when she married William Brass. Could this have actually affected her marriage to a Wesleyan Minister?

    By Chris (26/09/2014)
  • It does seem that Elizabeth was divorced, on the grounds of adultery, in 1892, in which case her subsequent marriage to a Primitive Methodist Minister is perhaps surprising. Their marriage would have had to be at a Register Office, not in a church. The Christian message is about forgiveness and unconditional love, which must have mattered most to William.

    By Jill Barber (26/09/2014)

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