Harding, Daniel (1825-1905)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1877
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1906

Early years

Daniel was born in 1825 at Melksham, Wiltshire to parents William and Sarah. He was baptised on 20 March 1825 at Melksham. Daniel attended the town school for a basic education. Two brothers also became PM Ministers. Another brother became a well-known lay Methodist in Queensland, Australia. Daniel was a teetotaller from the age of 15.

Daniel was converted at the age of 20 and went on the plan a few months later. Two years after becoming a local preacher he was recommended for itineracy.


In 1877, Daniel sat on the Connexional Examining Committee and was District Agent of the Chapel Loan Fund.

In his obituary, Rev. William Rowe writes: ‘Though not one of the most brilliant of men, Daniel Harding was a laborious, plodding and successful labourer, and the Church wants more of such.’


Daniel married Alice Foss (1832-1899) in 1855 at Luton. Census records identify four children.

  • William Daniel (b1857)
  • Sarah Alice Foss (1861-1936)
  • Francis Alderwick (1867-1883)
  • Hedley Thomas (1874-1942) – a bookseller/shopkeeper, later a printer

Daniel died on 28 February 1905 at Newbury, Berkshire.


  • 1849 Luton
  • 1850 Farringdon
  • 1852 Salisbury
  • 1853 Witney
  • 1856 Andover
  • 1858 Sturminster
  • 1859 Stratford
  • 1861 Wallingford
  • 1864 Salisbury
  • 1867 Banbury
  • 1870 Newbury
  • 1873 Basingstoke
  • 1876 Wallingford
  • 1880 Newbury
  • 1884 Aylesbury
  • 1888 Brinkworth
  • 1891 Newbury (S)


Newbury Weekly News, 9 March 1905


Last week there passed away at Morecambe Villas, Berkeley-road, the Rev. Daniel Harding, an old and respected minister of the Primitive Methodist Connexion.

Born at Melksham in 1825, of parents who were Wesleyan Methodists, Mr. Harding as a young man was brought in association with the Primitive Methodists, among whom he became converted in his twenty first year, and in due course his name was placed upon the preachers’ plan. It became manifest, however, that he was designed for a wider sphere of labour than that of a local preacher. His studious habits, his love of reading (Tod’s students’ manual being the first book to impress him), his devotion to God and zeal for the conversion of others, marked him off as one whom God had designed for the ministry, and obeying the call which came from his church he left his home for the strenuous life of a circuit preacher, and the scanty stipend which was all that the young community struggling into life and extending its operations far and near, could then offer by way of remuneration. From that time he gave himself to the service of God and man, and as a faithful minister of the Word his labours were greatly blessed, and he was able to report additions year by year upon the circuits to which he was appointed. His name appeared on the ministerial list for the first time in 18499, his first appointment being Luton. He subsequently “travelled” at Faringdon, Salisbury, Witney, Andover, Sturminster, Stratford-on-Avon, Wallingford, Salisbury (again), Banbury, Newbury, Basingstoke, Wallingford (again), Newbury (again), Aylesbury and Brinkworth, retiring from the active ranks in 1891, when he settled in Newbury.

He retained through his ministerial life the confidence of his brethren, as proved by the official positions he held; his name was to be found on some of the most important Connexional Committees, and on three occasions was a member of the Annual Conference.

On his retirement he continued to preach. For some time he was conductor of the Band of Hope, and as long as he was able was treasurer of the mothers’ meetings. His sympathies and advocacy were given to the temperance cause, which he joined by becoming a pledged abstainer at the age of fifteen. With increasing age and feebleness he had to relax one after another of his public duties, and passed away on the last day of February, in the 80th years of his age.

THE FUNERAL was on Saturday. The remains were conveyed to the Primitive Methodist Church. The service was conducted by the Rev. J. Neville, prayer was offered by the Rev. G.J. Knight, and an address delivered by the Rev. T. Saunders, of Slough, who attended as representative from the Connexional Executive…..

The mourners were Miss Harding (daughter), Mr. and Mrs. Hedley T. Harding (son and daughter-in-law), Rev. Samuel Harding of Glasgow (brother), Rev. Joseph Harding, of Bristol (brother), Captain and Mrs. Parsons of Tunbridge Wells (nephew and niece), and Mr. Turner. Both at the church and graveside many friends gathered, some of whom had come distances.

A memorial service followed on Sunday evening.

[Died 28 February 1905 aged 80. Buried 4 March 1905 Bk 1899 p 097 no. 7969. Also wife Alice died 30 April 1899 aged 66]


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1877/65 (portrait); 1906/827

PM Minutes 1905/20

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol  2, p332

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery



Comments about this page

  • Transcription added of obituary printed in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1906.

    By Geoff Dickinson (09/07/2018)
  • Obituary added, with thanks to The Friends of Newtown Cemetery.

    By Jill Barber (24/05/2017)

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