Hedges, Isaac (1815-1898)
Isaac was born on 25 December 1815 at Shefford, Berkshire to parents Robert and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 14 January 1816 at Great Shefford, Berkshire. His father was a farmer and both parents attended the established church.
Kendall records that Isaac “started for Heaven” at a service in a gravel pit at Hoe Benham in 1830. The preacher was Thomas Russell and Isaac joined the Primitive Methodists very much against his parent’s wishes.
His obituary records that Isaac was trained in the hardship of apostolic simplicity for he received his first class ticket under a hedge and the first sacremental service was in God’s temple beneath a tree.
On 16 July 1844, Isaac was preaching in the open-air at Ambrosdon, a small village about two and a half miles from Bicester, when he was apprehended by a constable, conveyed to Bicester and confined there till the next day, when he was brought before the magistrate under a charge of blocking up a public foot-path. The fact was that he had stood to preach in front of a wheelwright’s shop to a congregation of only five persons, and the spot where he stood was above 17 feet from the middle of the road. When the case was finally heard, along with another accusation of blocking a path in Bicester, the constables grossly over-estimated the number in the congregation. Despite a vigorous defence, Isaac was fined 15s, and when he refused to pay it, they sentenced him to 21 days hard labour. The two magistrates were a local vicar and a surgeon.
Isaac married Mary Ann Cranstone (1824-1870) on 22 November 1845 at Kensington, London. Census returns identify three children.
- Mary Ann Cranstone (1846-1896)
- Isaac Robert (1849-1876) – a druggist assistant in 1871
- Albert Wilfred (1861-1934) – a music teacher
Isaac married Bethsheba Blades, nee Vickers (1842-1899) in the summer of 1897 at Burnley, Lancashire.
Isaac died on 7 September 1898 at Burnley, Lancashire.
- 1839 Reading
- 1842 Kingston
- 1843 Oxford
- 1846 Brinkworth
- 1850 Sturminster
- 1852 Buckingham
- 1854 Tredegar
- 1856 Falmouth
- 1858 Frome
- 1859 Merthyr Tydfil
- 1861 St Austell
- 1864 Pontefract
- 1867 Clayton West
- 1869 Pateley Bridge
- 1870 Sowerby Bridge
- 1873 Silsden
- 1876 Burnley
- 1878 Burnley (Sup)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1866 (portrait); 1871/112 (wife); 1899/69
PM Minutes 1899/10
J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p447
H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p328, p349
W Leary,Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers
Note: Isaac is not found in the 1861 census; there may be additional children between Isaac and Albert.