Graham, Walter (1841-1903)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1899
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904

Early years

Walter was born on 21 December 1841 at Marple, Cheshire, to parents Joshua and Ann. Joshua was a cotton weaver. Walter worked as a cotton weaver before entering the ministry. His brother, Joseph, was also a PM Minister.

Walter was converted in his early teens, through the ministry of Rev Charles Jackson, and became a member of the PM society at Marple. Two years later, Walter left the Church, but was restored following a revival at a neighbouring chapel. This was a clear and distinct life-changing experience, and was at the heart of the marked emphasis in his preaching on the necessity and importance of regeneration.

Walter gave himself to reading and study. He became active in the Sunday School, in prayer meetings, and mission services. He went on the plan as a local preacher in December 1859. This was done by the Quarterley Meeting, without consulting Walter. Walter became a hired local preacher in Manchester in October 1862.


Walter excelled at administration and at some stage held all the secretarial and treasury offices that the district could appoint a man to.

His obituary records that he had a noble presence, a fine social nature, a rich fund of humour, a kind and sympathetic heart which made him a most enjoyable companion and an ever welcome guest in the homes of the people.

As a preacher, Walter was plain, practical and scriptural. His delivery was forcible and impressive.


Walter married Elizabeth Ann Goddard (1838-1903) on 9 July 1867 at New Mills, Derbyshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Charles Hesley (1868-1937) – a chemist and druggist
  • Alfred Henry (1870-1896) – a clerk

Walter died on 25 November 1903 at Moss Side, Manchester.


  • 1863 St Helens
  • 1864 Douglas
  • 1865 Lymm
  • 1867 Preston
  • 1869 Castletown
  • 1870 Bradwell
  • 1874 Stockport
  • 1877 Blackburn I
  • 1879 Fleetwood
  • 1883 Liverpool I
  • 1887 Warrington
  • 1891 Lowton
  • 1894 Manchester V
  • 1899 Dalton
  • 1900 Bury
  • 1903 Manchester (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1899/83; 1904/325 (wife); 1904/655

PM Minutes 1904/21

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • This page was modified on 23 November 2017 to add a transcription of Walter’s obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Recorder 1904.

    By Geoff Dickinson (23/11/2017)
  • This is my great great grandfather and grandmother on my mother’s side of my family. My mother is the eldest daughter of their eldest sons eldest daughter (Caroline Elizabeth Gertrude Graham) 

    Thanks to you I now know what they both look like,and a little more about them both .

    By Lesley Stevenson (12/09/2016)

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