George, Silas Lawrence (1853-1944)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1932
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1932

Early years

Silas was born in 1853 at Kidderminster, Worcestershire, to parents James and Elizabeth. James, a boot and shoemaker, was a local preacher.

Silas left school at the age of eleven, but made good his education by private study and later when a minister in Glasgow he attended university classes.

His service in the Church began as Sunday School Secretary. At the age of eighteen, Silas became a member, and before he was twenty he was on full plan. He became a student at the Sunderland Theological Institute on his twenty-first birthday.


Silas succeeded Dr Guttery as Primitive Methodist correspondent for the Christian World and he also contributed to the Methodist Times. He also wrote short stories.

His obituary records that Silas was energetic and full of ideas, making his circuits hum, especially with financial schemes. His own priority was for preaching, and in that ministry he came close to the hearts of his people, whom in his native kindness he would serve in any way possible.

His wider service included District and Connexional administration and he served as secretary for the Superannuated Ministers’ Widows and Orphans’ Fund.

He was a hard-working and successful circuit minister, devoted to his Church and a faithful pastor and friend.


Silas married Harriet Reeson (1850-1882) on 24 January 1882 at York, Yorkshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Harriet Reeson (1882-1972) – a teacher

Silas married Mary Elizabeth Woodcock (1852-1929) in early 1885 at Bury, Lancashire. Census returns identify one of four children.

  • Thomas Woodcock (b1886) – a doctor in Melbourne, Australia (1932)

Silas died on 10 June 1944 at Truro, Cornwall.


  • Sunderland
  • 1875 Sheffield IV
  • 1876 Burton on Trent
  • 1877 Wirksworth
  • 1879 Mansfield
  • 1881 Glasgow II
  • 1883 Bury
  • 1886 Ashby de la Zouch
  • 1889 Birkenhead
  • 1892 Knowlwood
  • 1895 Laxey
  • 1897 Bolton II
  • 1900 Haslingden
  • 1903 Enfield
  • 1909 Lavender Hill
  • 1915 Lavender Hill (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1885/180 (Harriet); 932/441

Methodist Minutes 1944/144

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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