Thomas was converted whilst quite young under the ministry of Rev. G Lamb. He started work as a clerk in a solicitor’s office in York, but was called in 1850 to supply for Rev. G Welbourn as a hired local preacher. From the following conference he was taken into the regular ministry as a married probationer.
A transcription of his obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Thomas Newell is attached.
Newell comments as follows on his preaching abilities.
“Our brother had a very high opinion of the greatness and sanctity of the Christian pulpit. He regarded the preacher as the ambassador of Christ, and was himself grave, earnest, and faithful in proclaiming the word of life to perishing men. If there was one thing which, more than another, he detested, it was buffoonery in the pulpit. Anything like trifling and frothiness there he could not away with. As a public speaker he was considerably above the average for effectiveness. His discourses were well digested and carefully prepared. They were given in good, vigorous English, perhaps occasionally in a diction bordering on the florid and laboured, and usually in a tone of voice clear and ringing, but not altogether pleasant to the hearers when he gave himself up to the excitement of the subject or the occasion, and taxed his vocal powers to their utmost capacity. Among merely human teachers of the Christian faith, his model minister was St. Paul, whose talents, virtues, graces, labours, grasp of gospel truth, and success in his great calling, he was never tired of dwelling on. I think he tried to preach the word of God as he believed Paul preached it to Jew and Greek, using great seriousness and energy, that he might save them that heard him, and be able to give a good account of his stewardship when the Lord shall judge us all.”
Thomas was also known as an excellent administrator, and was appointed by his brethren to the following roles; Secretary of the General Chapel Fund for four years, Conference Delegate several times, a Director of the Insurance Company, and a Trustee for the Manchester Theological Institute.
Thomas was born in August 1828 at York, Yorkshire, to parents Joseph, a labourer, and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 14 August 1828 at York.
He married Mary Calvert (abt1825-1894) on 18 January 1850 at York. Census returns identify two children.
- Sarah Bowser (1850-1886) – married Thomas Raynor Nowill, a wholesale druggist, in 1884
- George Frederick (1853-1863)
Thomas died on 19 September 1880 at Bradford, Yorkshire.
- 1851 Burnley
- 1852 Leeds N
- 1853 Leeds I
- 1854 Dewsbury
- 1855 Thirsk
- 1857 Bradford
- 1859 Leeds II
- 1860 Pickering
- 1862 Huddersfield
- 1864 Leeds III
- 1868 York
- 1873 Halifax
- 1875 Bradford I
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1881/52
PM Minutes 1881/14
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers