Dorricott, Isaac (1842-1929)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1929

Early years

Isaac was born on 7 April 1842 at Trench, nr Oakengates, Shropshire to parents Joseph Dorricott and Jane Peacefull. Joseph was a coal miner and local preacher. His mother was sister to Rev William Peacefull.

Isaac had little education, starting work at the age of eight at the pit. He attended Sunday school throughout his childhood. When about nineteen, Isaac became a total abstainer, joined the Church and soon afterwards yielded himself to God. About a year later, Isaac received a note to exhort. He was proposed for the Ministry before he reached full plan, but he delayed his entry whilst improving his education.

At the time of the 1861 census Isaac was working as a coal miner.


Isaac’s love of ordinary circuit work led him to resist attempts to bring him into positions of connexional prominence. However, he was for several years a member of the Candidates Examining Committee and was a Director of Bourne College.

Isaac’s most significant impact came at Dover where he spent ten years. When he arrived the station was weak. He was able to turn things around and build a splendid chapel, leaving the station in prosperity.

Isaac’s method of preaching was expository. He regarded the expounding and enforcement of the Word of God as the chief work of the minister’s life, and as the most effective way to bring souls to Jesus Christ. His sermons, which were carefully prepared, were rich in well-matured food for mind and heart, were expressed in choice language and often made luminous by apt illustration. His delivery was usually quiet, free from any oratorical devices, yet weighty and forcible.


Isaac wrote the following.

Memorials of an Earnest Life, Or, Records of the Rev. William Peacefull, Primitive Methodist Minister, 1878

Some olden-time Methodists: being memorial sketches of the Russell and Barnsley-Smith families, 1904

Lyric studies: a hymnal guide, containing biographic sketches of the authors, and notes, critical, historical, and illustrative, on their psalms and hymns


Isaac married Mary Elizabeth Peacefull (1842-1914) in the summer of 1869 at Market Drayton, Shropshire. Mary was the daughter of Rev William Peacefull. Census returns identify five of six children.

  • Edith Emily (1870-1920) – married Frederick Ward, a chocolate maker (1901), later a tobacconist and stationer
  • Alice (b1872) – married James Causland Booth, a master jeweller
  • Elizabeth Ada (1875-1910) – had a mental disability
  • Herbert John (1877-1946) – a carpenter
  • Ernest Peacefull (b1882)

Isaac married Ruth Kate Eliza Seal (1874-1961) in late 1922 at Hastings, Sussex.

Isaac died on 15 February 1929 at St Leonards on Sea, Sussex.


  • 1865 Hadnall
  • 1867 Wolverhampton
  • 1868 Wolverhampton
  • 1870 Birmingham
  • 1871 Brierley Hill
  • 1874 Darlaston
  • 1876 Willenhall
  • 1878 Birmingham II
  • 1881 Coventry
  • 1883 Manchester II
  • 1886 Pontypool
  • 1890 Derby II
  • 1893 Goudhurst
  • 1894 Dover & Deal
  • 1903 Croydon
  • 1906 Halesowen
  • 1909 Droitwich (S)
  • 1911 Birmingham


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/562; 1929/554

PM Minutes 1929/261

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p410

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • There is a copy of “Some Olden Time Methodists” in the Library at Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum.

    By Geoff Dickinson (17/05/2019)
  • What a wonderful item! Many thanks!
    I am trying to research the story of Methodism in Dover (I am a retired Methodist minister, living in Shepherdswell just outside Dover). Can I ask if ‘Some Olden-time Methodists’ is available, still? Also, if you have any information about Dover, other than the material currently available , I would be so pleased to hear from you. My grandfather Percy was baptised at the Buckland Wesleyan Chapel in 1872 by Hugh Price Hughes, so I have more Wesleyan detail than Primitive. Harvey Richardson

    By Harvey Richardson (17/05/2019)

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