Campey, Thomas (1838-1929)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1890
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921

Early years

Thomas was born on 4 June 1838 at Colton, nr York, Yorkshire to parents Joseph and Sarah. Joseph was a farm labourer.

When he was young, the family moved to Hemingborough, nr Selby. Thomas attended the Anglican Sunday School and was baptised and confirmed in the established church. When aged 14, Thomas was apprenticed at Ryther, nr Tadcaster. He was converted aged 16 at a lovefeast held at a Wesleyan chapel. He soon joined the Primitive Methodists at Cawood in the Tadcaster circuit.

In June 1858, Thomas’ name went on the plan without his knowledge and to his great dismay. Appointments were numerous and involved long journeys. He studied early in the morning and late at night.

Thomas was called in October 1859 to supply for John Tudsbury, who had died soon after being appointed to Tadcaster. He declined firmly, however, the call was repeated and on 6 June 1860 he went to Selby.


The 1890 biography records that Thomas was not a classical scholar but had some acquaintance with Hebrew and Greek.

He was Secretary of the Hull District Publishing Committee and twice Secretary of the District meeting. He was a General Committee delegate from the Hull District.

Thomas had a real gift for journalism and for 50 years reported on connexional and district proceedings, not only for Primitive Methodist journals, but for newspapers such as the Sheffield Telegraph and Sheffield Independent.

Thomas was a Deed Poll member of Conference from 1918 to 1928. In all, he attended a total of 55 Primitive Methodist Conferences.

His obituary records that he was a preacher of direct and convincing power, scriptural and evangelistic to a marked degree.


Thomas wrote the following.

Primitive Methodism in Sheffield – published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901 and updated in 1921.


Thomas married Mary Jane Epton (1837-1907) on 16 August 1864 at Wainfleet, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify five children.

  • Thomas Epton (1866-1950) – reached rank of Major in the Army
  • Eva Annie (1867-1951) – a clerk in a newspaper office  (1911)
  • Emily Gertrude (1869-1961)
  • John James (1874-1950) – a railway canvasser (1911)
  • Arthur W (1877-1906) – a railway clerk

Thomas died on 6 May 1929 at Sheffield, Yorkshire.


  • 1860 Market Rasen
  • 1861 Doncaster
  • 1862 Retford
  • 1865 Hull ll
  • 1867 Louth
  • 1869 Alford
  • 1872 Epworth
  • 1874 Mexborough
  • 1877 Selby
  • 1879 North Cave
  • 1883 Scotter
  • 1884 Lincoln ll
  • 1885 Scotter
  • 1886 Sleaford
  • 1889 Boston
  • 1893 Alford
  • 1896 Sheffield lll
  • 1899 Sheffield lV (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1890/641; 1901/413; 1921/464; 1929/495

PM Minutes 1929258

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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