Hughes, William (1879-1958)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM HUGHES: born at Pennerley, Shropshire, in 1879. When thirteen he moved with his parents to North Wales. The influence of a godly home and the fervour of Welsh preaching led his thoughts toward the Ministry. He entered Hartley College in 1902. His probation was spent in Sheffield; then followed long terms of devoted service in Leicester, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Rugby, Coventry, Halesowen, and Cromer, where he retired in 1952. In retirement, however, he continued to preach with great acceptance. 

He was a persistent reader in all branches of literature, and was especially interested in poetry and history. To hear him quote from the masters was a revelation of the poet’s soul, and it was in the light of history that he viewed contemporary events. He knew the great expositors and was versed in the mystics, but the centre of his reading was the Bible. It was from a mind richly stored that he prepared so carefully for the pulpit. He had a love of nature, from which he drew vivid illustrations. Music, too, claimed his affection, and he had the Welshman’s love of melody. He had a genius for friendship, was a true colleague, and warmly appreciated the gifts and accomplishments of his brethren. He loved young people, and was a great encourager of those beginning to preach. 

It was as a preacher that he excelled. His services were conducted with grace and dignity. He expounded the great themes ; and with a rich voice, and in beautiful language, he declared Christ’s unsearchable riches. For many hearers, his prayers will stand out in memory; they created an atmosphere of devotion, and took the worshippers into the presence of God. 

He died on 2 August 1958, in the seventy-ninth year of his age and the fifty-fourth of his ministry.


William was born on 20 August 1879 at Pennerley, Shropshire, to parents Edwin, a lead miner, and Sarah.

He married Margaret May Wood (1889-1951)) in the summer of 1908 in the Wortley Registration District, Yorkshire. Census returns identify three children

  • William Henry Edwin (1909-1996) – a dental surgeon
  • Ada M (b1912) – a ladies hairdresser 91939)
  • Raymond Harper (1917-2005) – working with Colonial Survey Service (1939)

William died on 2 August 1958 at Burton on Trent, Staffordshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1904 Sheffield III
  • 1908 Leicester IV
  • 1915 Leicester II
  • 1920 Ashby de la Zouch
  • 1930 Rugby
  • 1933 Coventry Paradise
  • 1938 Hasbury &c
  • 1946 Cromer &c
  • 1952 Cromer (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1959/177

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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