Carter, Walton

In discussing hymns written to celebrate preachers that had been imprisoned, Kendal writes the following, which also gives an insight into Walton Carter.

‘In these the pervading sentiment is one of chastened thankfulness, as is seen in the chorus of one of them:—

“Releas’d from bondage, grief, and pain,
We meet with this our friend again.”

One of the best of these hymns was written by Walton Carter, already referred to. He too encountered the “backsliding Methodist constable,” who pulled him down at Ashton Cross and tore his clothes. But though Carter was brought before the magistrates at Oldham, he and his companion were dismissed. Of Walton Carter’s antecedents we can glean nothing; but he became a noted missioner in Manchester and its neighbourhood, and was our Connexional pioneer in several towns which are now the head of important stations. In fact he seems to have fulfilled the duties of a travelling preacher in the Manchester Circuit during the years 1821-2, although his name does not appear on the official stations; so that, although Manchester Circuit in 1821 has only John Verity down for it, with the words “for six months” appended, we need not suppose that Manchester was left without a preacher for half the year. Walton Carter was on the ground. His well-written Journals appear side by side with those of Verity in the Magazine, and when Verity has left, Carter is still actively engaged in the circuit, and as late as May, 1822, sends an account to the Magazine of the first Oldham camp meeting. In 1823 his name appears on the stations for the first and last time, in connection with Halifax. He retired from the ministry, and subsequently became the proprietor of a day and boarding school at Bucklow Hill, near Knutsford. The breach with the past was not complete. He still kept in touch with Manchester; for amongst his boarders were several youths belonging to Primitive Methodist families resident in the city in which he had once rendered good service. There is reason to fear, however, that his last days were not the brightest and the best.’


I have not been able to identify Walton unambiguously in online records.

A Walton Carter was baptised on 29 December 1799 at Newark on Trent, with parents John and Diana.

There is a Walton Carter in Manchester, a school master, in the 1841 census return.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?


  • 1823 Halifax
  • 1824 ceased


H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p19

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Extracts of the journal of Walton Carter published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1822.

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