Graham, William (1835-1886)

A transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Hallam is attached. Hallam records his thoughts on William as a preacher as follows: “To the multitude who heard him for the first time, Mr. Graham was not a great preacher. He was not eloquent; he was no declaimer. To use his own description of Mr. Linton in Heatherfield, “he never sought to wrap himself in a mantle of rhetorical spangles or to dazzle the fancy of his hearers by fine sentiment or brilliant images, as some orators do, reminding one of a street conjuror throwing gilded balls before a crowd at a fair.’ He was slow in utterance; he often struggled to get hold of what was under his text till it seemed like bringing something up from the vasty deeps, but while some grew impatient, others waited, knowing that it would probably be a very precious pearl of truth. He presented truth rather than controverted opinions and errors. He had a deep reverence for scripture, but without tendency to narrowness or bigotry. He was strongly argumentative, but not unfrequently imagination or passion would burst out in form which stirred the blood of his audience, and evoked subdued murmurs of assent such as the pulpit too seldom elicits. Even those who did not fully understand him, nor see clearly whither he was leading them, felt that before them stood a man real in his convictions and good in his purposes.“

At his funeral service Rev J. Atkinson said, ‘No gift do I feel to be of greater worth than the friendship of our departed friend. No finer intellect, no tenderer heart, no more generous nature, no gentler disposition did ever man that I have known possess. With no higher sense of honour, with no deeper or stronger conscientiousness, with no truer or livelier sympathy, with no more earnest desire to help others have I come in contact than I have found in my friend.’


William was born on 16 November 1835 at Kirk Andrews upon Esk, Carlisle, Cumberland, to parents John and Alice. He was baptised on 22 November 1835 at Kirk Andrews.

He married Annie Reed Cowen(abt1840-1875) in the spring of 1870 at South Shields, Co. Durham.

William died on 12 January 1886 at North Shields, Northumberland.


  • 1859 Sunderland
  • 1860 Alston
  • 1862 Whitby
  • 1865 Barnard Castle
  • 1867 Lowick
  • 1868 Haltwhistle
  • 1873 Shildon
  • 1876 Crook
  • 1878 Sunderland I
  • 1882 Haltwhistle
  • 1885 N Shields


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1886/369

PM Minutes 1886/8

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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