Dalton, Edwin D.D. (1845-1925)
Edwin was born on 22 November 1845 at Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire to parents William and Jane. His parents were Wesleyans. William was a cordwainer. The 1861 census shows Edwin following his father’s trade.
Edwin was converted at the age of sixteen, in the same service as Joseph Beal and Frederick Prest. This event took place during a series of revival services in the Primitive Methodist Chapel conducted by a local preacher. Edwin was soon given a ‘Note’ to take appointments on the plan. Edwin began a course of private study and ultimately sought the advantages of Elmfield College at York as a commercial student. He earned the necessary funds by selling newspapers and casual farm labouring. When his own circuit recommended him for ministry, Edwin was transferred to the ministerial room at Elmfield under the tuition of John Petty.
The Victoria Bar Chapel was erected at York whilst Edwin was superintendent. Whilst at Leeds he built the Meanwood Road and Holdforth Street Chapels. He was also elected a member of the Leeds School Board. He was chairman of the Special Schools Committee and later under changed legislation Edwin was a member of the Leeds Education Committee.
His obituary records that Edwin was a successful circuit minister. He looked after things. He left no loose ends in business. Indeed he was rather severely punctilious in these things. But when he got into the pulpit then he had a royal time. Whether it was an old sermon or a new sermon he put himself into it and gave out physical and spiritual energy that would have meant complete exhaustion to most other men. Edwin served as Leeds and York District Secretary for fifteen years.
Edwin went to the Book Room. He managed its affairs wisely and became the best advertising medium that institution has ever had. Wherever he went he worked it in and made people feel it belonged to them.
In his final station at Hull, during the Jubilee, Edwin made things hum, cleared off the debt, gathered great congregations and worked like a Trojan. He became a figure in the city, a member of all its redeeming institutions.
In theology, Edwin was orthodox. His aim was so practical – to get people to do right and to follow Christ – that he did not trouble much with modern philosophical and theological problems. But get him attacking a wrong or fighting an injustice and his whole soul blazed. He was a very mighty man.
Edwin was President of Conference in 1911. He received his Doctorate from Victoria University, Toronto. It was an honour conferred on all the Methodist Presidents at the Ecumenical Conference in Toronto.
Edwin married Mary Eliza Fox (1850-1922) in the summer of 1875 at Dewsbury, Yorkshire. Census returns identify six of seven children.
- John Edwin (1876-1963) – a schoolmaster, later inspector of schools (1925)
- Annie Eliza (1878- – a schoolteacher; married Thomas Walker Cooper, a vellum binder foreman (1911)
- Charles Richard (1880-1918) – a PM Minister
- Robert William (1882-1961) – a civil servant
- Thomas Wilson Fox (b1887) – an accountant
- Louisa Jane (1888-1894)
Edwin died on 15 June 1925 at Scarborough, Yorkshire.
- 1867 Ripon
- 1868 Horbury
- 1870 Clayton West
- 1871 Dewsbury
- 1873 Easingwold
- 1875 Pontefract
- 1878 York
- 1882 Heckmondwike
- 1886 Carlisle
- 1889 Leeds I
- 1894 Leeds II
- 1900 Leeds VI
- 1905 Book Steward
- 1910 Hull I
- 1919 Hull (Sup)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904/675; 1911/110; 1912/2; 1912/386; 1926/66
PM Minutes 1926/260
H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p388
B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p277
R Newman Wycherley, The Pageantry of Methodist Union, 1932, p176
W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers