Cariss, Thomas Smith (1833-1867)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by R.W.R. Trenwith

THOMAS SMITH CARISS was born March 6th, 1833, at Ampleforth, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. From a child he was remarkable for truthfulness and rectitude, and when at the age of sixteen years he gave his heart to God, and thenceforth consecrated himself to the service of his divine Master. He was called to the ministry in the year 1856, and was first stationed on the Whitby Circuit. He subsequently travelled on the following Stations: Berwick-on-Tweed, Barnard Castle, Brompton, Grassington, Wishaw, Motherwell, Lisburn, Portadown, and Hertford. 

During his labours on these Stations he witnessed the conversion of several souls,—proofs of his success in the ministry. Soon after his appointment to Hertford he showed unmistakeable signs of declining health; but he laboured on until compelled by sheer exhaustion to desist. His affliction was rapid consumption. After a fruitless visit to the sea-side he went to his native place, and it soon became apparent that his end was near. His confidence in God was firm, and his prospect of heaven clear. His soul was unshaken by the “swellings of Jordan,” and on the 27th of July, 1867, he passed away, leaving behind him the assurance that he is gone “to be with Christ, which is far better.”


Thomas was born on 6 March 1833 at Ampleforth, Yorkshire, to parents Robert, a cordwainer, and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 7 April 1833 at Ampleforth.

Before entering the ministry, Thomas followed the same profession as his father.

He married Ann Clifford (1839-1910) in the summer of 1861 at Whitby, Yorkshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Thomas Clifford (1864-1932) – a slinger (1911)
  • Florence Emma (1866-1938) – married Thomas Burke, a house painter, in 1889

Thomas died on 27 July 1867 at Ampleforth, Yorkshire.


  • 1858 Berwick
  • 1859 Barnard Castle
  • 1860 Brompton
  • 1861 Grassington
  • 1862 Motherwell
  • 1863 Alloa
  • 1864 Portadown
  • 1866 St Albans
  • 1867 Hertford


PM Minutes 1868/6

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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