Howchin, Richard (1803-1874)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1853

Early years

Richard was born on 9 July 1803 at North Weald, Essex. Richard’s parents were baptists.

Richard’s obituary records; ‘It is said by those who knew him intimately that he belonged to that class of individuals who cannot specify the exact time and place of their conversion, but who seem to grow into religion somewhat after the fashion in which the day comes upon the inhabitants of frigid zones, slowly but surely, the light increasing more and more until the sun, mounting above the horizon, flings broadcast his beams and bathes the earth with floods of golden splendour.’

Richard consecrated himself to Gods work at a Camp Meeting in London in May 1823. He united himself with the Primitive Methodists and soon became a class leader and local preacher.


Richard spent some time as a hired local preacher in London before becoming an itinerant  preacher.

When, in 1833, the Wangford Branch was made a circuit, with Richard Howchin as its superintendent, it reported 233 members. Extensive missionary operations were at once begun in the surrounding villages. More than a score of these were visited, and many of them were morally transformed. The result was seen in the report of 540 members given to the Conference of 1835.


Richard married Rebecca Tucker in 1826. Census returns identify two children.

  • Rebecca (1827-1917) – married Charles Wenn, an agricultural labourer.
  • Richard (b1829) – a drapers assistant (1851)

Richard married Mary Ann Ward Goose on 7 July 1833 at Martham, Norfolk. Census returns identify nine children.

  • Mary Ann (1835-1857)
  • Emma (1836-1917) -married Samuel Morter and then Frederick Starling.
  • Matilda (1838-1916) – married Robert Norman, a wheelwright
  • Frederick (b1841) – a painter, glazier and plumber
  • Walter (1845-1937) – a PM Minister and geologist. Emigrated to Australia in 1881.
  • Josiah Luther (1847-1886) – a storekeeper
  • Harriett Jane (b1849)
  • Richard Edward (b1850) -a schoolmaster
  • Catherine Emma (1854-1924) – married Thomas Bullen Curson, a storekeeper in a factory

Richard died on 2 July 1874 at Kings Lynn, Norfolk.


  • 1829 London
  • 1830 Upwell
  • 1832 Yarmouth
  • 1833 Wangford
  • 1835 Fakenham
  • 1837 Yarmouth
  • 1839 Upwell
  • 1841 Brandon
  • 1843 Norwich
  • 1845 Lynn
  • 1847 Upwell
  • 1849 Wisbech
  • 1851 Norwich l
  • 1853 Fakenham
  • 1855 Wangford
  • 1857 Lynn
  • 1860 Yarmouth
  • 1863 Rockland
  • 1867 Lynn
  • 1870 Lynn (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1832/428 (Rebecca); 1853/129 (portrait) 1874/746; 1914/275

PM Minutes 1875/5

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p232

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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