Garner, William (1802-1881)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.47

Early Years

William was born on 8 April 1802 at Kegworth, the sixth son of John Garner and Elizabeth Chaplain. In 1818, William was working as a ‘stockinger’ and living at home looking after his widowed mother and remaining family. On 17 June 1818 he was attracted to attend a Camp Meeting at Stanton, where John Wedgwood was the prime attraction. Imagine William’s surprise when he sees his older brother John, then a newly appointed local preacher, come forward to preach – he had not been aware that John had been converted. William was converted as a result of that meeting. He started to preach some 6 months after his conversion.


William became a traveling preacher in 1823. He wrote in his diary on 8 Jan 1844, that having travelled for 21 years to that point he had walked 44,936 miles and preached 6278 sermons.

William followed his brother John as Secretary to the General Mission Committee in 1846. He was President of Conference in 1859 and 1861.


William was a prolific writer. He authored the following.

  • The Good Old Way, 1851
  • Candidate for Heaven: Invited to Christian Fellowship, 1852
  • Life of John Garner, 1856
  • Dialogues between John Gibson, BD vicar of Brent with Furneux Pelham, Herts and Martin Bull, Primitive Methodist, against joining the primitive Methodists, 1859
  • Devotional Christianity and its admirable adaptation to promote the salvation of mankind, 1861
  • The Life of the Rev. and Venerable William Clowes: One of the patriarchs of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1868


William married Elizabeth Pattison on 4 June 1828 at St John’s Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne. Elizabeth was born on 21 June 1803 and died on 8 July 1877.

William died on 27 January 1881 in Hull.


  • 1823 Hull
  • 1824 Hexham
  • 1826 Newcastle
  • 1828 S Shields
  • 1829 Sunderland
  • 1831 Hull
  • 1836 Halifax
  • 1837 Swinefleet
  • 1839 Scotter
  • 1842 Bradford
  • 1843 Brigg
  • 1844 Hull
  • 1845 Scarborough
  • 1846 Secretary of GMC
  • 1854 Hull l
  • 1857 Driffield
  • 1860 Hull ll
  • 1863 Brigg
  • 1866 Hull ll (Sup)
  • 1872 Hull lV


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1841/fr; 1878/182 (wife); 1881/369; 1894/850

PM Minutes 1881/11

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p487, p548, p572

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 1, p245; vol 2, p21, p373

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, 126

Joseph Ritson, The Romance of Primitive Methodism , 1909, p248

R Newman Wycherley, The Pageantry of Methodist Union, 1932, p113

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

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