Forth, William (1834-1906)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1888
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907

Early years

William was born in 1834 in Hull. William’s parents were members of the Congregational church. He received a good education and was apprenticed to a firm of drapers in Birmingham.

In 1858, William joined the Gooch Street Church in Birmingham with a friend, Edward Cross. They became Sunday School teachers and William started to preach. In 1859 William was recommended for the ministry.


William’s obituary records that he gave himself with great ardour to the work of the ministry, and he found his chief joy in winning men to Christ.

The marked features of his preaching were his apt use of Scripture, his plainness, and practicalness and fervour, and the indescribable unction that attended the Word.


William married Sarah Ann Darby (1830-1898) in the summer of 1863 at Brierley Hill, Worcestershire. She was an evangelist of remarkable abilities and deservedly gained considerable popularity in the Midlands. Census returns identify one child.

  • Ann Elizabeth (1864-1892) – married Robert Kacy Walker, a printer and stationer

William died on 3 August 1906 in Birmingham, Warwickshire. He suffered heart failure whilst travelling home on a tram.


  • 1860 Tunstall
  • 1861 Coventry
  • 1863 Redditch
  • 1868 Cwm
  • 1869 Stratford
  • 1870 Ramsor
  • 1873 Oswestry
  • 1876 Prees Green
  • 1877 Winsford
  • 1880 Congleton
  • 1881 Burton on Trent
  • 1884 Ramsor
  • 1886 Rhosymedre
  • 1889 Birmingham
  • 1892 Cradley Heath
  • 1895 Birmingham lll
  • 1897 Blaenavon
  • 1900 Wellington
  • 1904 Birmingham ll


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1888 (portrait); 1907/320

PM Minutes 1907/19

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers



Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907

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