Green, Thomas (1809-1858)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Aaron Blake

THOMAS GREEN, of New Swindon, Wiltshire, Brinkworth circuit, was born at Chaddleworth, Berkshire, September 28rd, 1809, and departed this life February 25th, 1858. His parents lived, according to the custom of this world, without any fear of God before their eyes. His father was much addicted to drunkenness, and his mother to swearing. In this awful state he was brought up.

July 10th, 18380, he was married to Jane Walter, of Shalboume, Wiltshire, by whom he had one child, which died at the age of eight weeks; and on the 27th of March, 1832, he had to mourn the loss of his wife, who fell a victim to consumption. While he stood by, and looked on her lifeless remains, he thought upon his past life, an angry God, and a coming eternity, and felt himself to be wretched, and was anxious to know how he might escape that death that never, never dies. Up to that time he had considered himself a churchman, although he seldom attended the services which were held in connection therewith; but his conscience became awakened. He durst not go, for he said he knew that if the Bible was right, both the parson and clerk were wrong. There was a Wesleyan in the place, who had many times intreated him to seek the Lord, and to him he resorted for counsel, and he took Thomas with him to their place of worship, and also to class. and he was admitted a member by the Rev. Joseph Sutcliffe in May, 1832, but was not converted till the 28th of the following October, when he attended a love-feast at Peasemore, where he became so distressed that he fell upon his knees, and cried to God for mercy, ventured his soul on Jesus, and received pardon for all his sins, and was filled with peace and joy in believing. 

But it was not long before he became the subject of divers persecutions. When he became a Methodist he opened his house for prayer-meetings. He however received notice to quit his master’s house, and also his employment, and through the influence of his master he was prevented from getting any employment in the neighbourhood. This was a sore trial for him, but he rested on the promises. He continued with the Wesleyan Methodists upwards of five years, and became an exhorter, but he left them, and joined the Primitive Methodists, February 17th, 1838. He was put on the plan as a local preacher by the following June quarterly meeting. The first appointment he had on the plan was at his home, and God gave him one soul for his hire; at another appointment nine souls got converted. Glory be to God!

At the quarterly meeting, held at Reading, March 23rd, 1840, he was requested to go out as a missionary, but he felt reluctant, till about a month afterwards, when brother John Ride sent for him to come to Reading, to see him. He then told him that a man was wanted to go into Hertfordshire, who could work hard, live poorly, and face a storm. He consented to go, and on Monday, April 27th, 1840, he left his native place, and went into Hertfordshire as a missionary. 

One circumstance that I shall mention occurred in the Highworth circuit, where he was made a blessing to the people. Brother John Poole, of Highworth, says that he could reckon up as many as forty persons in that circuit, who were brought to God through brother T. Green. In the year 1843, while attending missionary meetings with the late Mr. W. Driffield, he was put into a damp bed, and he suffered so severely therefrom, that he was never more a healthy man. On April 18th, 1846, he was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Starr, who was then a travelling preacher in Pickering circuit, Yorkshire, and who has now, with two children, to lament the loss of an affectionate husband and loving parent.

He was left without a station by the Conference of 1856, on account of ministerial inefficiency. He took a house in London, and commenced business in the grocery line, but was soon obliged to remove, having lost nearly all his money. On leaving London, after living a few weeks at Stratton-St.-Margaret’s, he settled at Swindon; was received by the quarter-day, Dec. 1856, as a member and local preacher, and was also a local preacher on the Highworth plan, at which place he preached his last sermon. With much difficulty he returned home on the Monday following, went to bed ill, and continued for twenty-one weeks and three days, during which he suffered much from weakness and asthma, and a liver affection. 

The writer had the happiness of being with him many times during this affliction, and I do not remember ever visiting him without hearing him praise God for his goodness to him. On one  occasion he said to me, “I have read, talked, and preached about sanctification, but never did I experience it until now, and even now language fails me to describe it.” His soul was filled with God, his prospects of eternal glory were clear as the noon-day, I was with him the night before he died, and while at prayer, commending his soul into the hands of Jesus, although he had nearly lost his speech, yet he responded with a joyful heart, and when telling him that he would soon be free from pain, and be gazing on the Saviour, he said, “Yes, glory be to God for ever! for ever! for ever!” after which he spoke but two or three words, and the following day he fell asleep in Jesus.

Family

Thomas was born on 23 September 1809 at Chaddleworth, Berkshire.

He married Jane Walter (1811-1832) on 10 July 1830 at Shalbourne, Wiltshire.

He married Elizabeth Starr (abt1823-1879) on 18 April 1846 in the Swindon Registration District, Wiltshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Elizabeth (b1847)
  • Mary Ann (b1851)

Thomas died on 25 February 1858 at Swindon, Wiltshire.

Elizabeth married John Iles, a labourer, in late 1859 in the Highworth Registration District, Wiltshire.

Circuits

  • 1840 Reading
  • 1841 Andover
  • 1842 Worcester
  • 1843 Driffield
  • 1845 Highworth
  • 1946 Pembroke
  • 1848 Glassonbury
  • 1850 St Austell
  • 1952 Bridgewater
  • 1854 Hereford

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1858/331

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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