Thomas is referred to in Kendall as an early PM itinerant preacher. He appears preaching (and being put in the stocks) in Cropwell Bishop (Nottinghamshire) in 1817, in Sandbach in 1818 and Belper in 1819.
In July 1834 Thomas, letters in the Cambridge Chronicle dated 18 July 1834 and 2 August 1834, suggest that there had been a rumpus over his preaching at Cambridge Fair. Was this why he disappears from the stations around that time? Or maybe the size of his family required a more settled occupation.
Thomas appears in later census returns as a town missionary.
Thomas was born in 1798 at Belper, Derbyshire, to parents William and Frances. He was baptised on 1 July 1798 at Belper.
He married Maria Hallam on 2 July 1821 at Duffield, Derbyshire.
He married Eleanor Waterhouse Whalley (1804-1842) on 22 September 1823 at St Mary, St Denys and St George, Manchester, Lancashire. Records identify eleven children.
- Mary Ann (1824-1840) – born at Howden, Yorkshire; baptised at Preston Brook
- Eleanor Waterhouse (b1826) – married Joseph Mee in 1843
- Thomas Clowes (1828-1903) – a railway booking clerk (1881)
- Samuel Whalley (1830-1898) – a cordwainer (1861)
- William Whalley (1831-1895) – emigrated to USA; a lumber merchant (1880)
- Ebenezer (1833-1833)
- Maria (b1834)
- Sophia (b1836) – a servant (1851)
- Jabez (b1838)
- Ebenezer (1839-1840)
- Mary Jane (1841-1912) – married Jeffrey Alfred Bomber, a bricklayer & insurance agent (1881), in 1865
He married Mary Kendrick (d1848) in late 1843 in the Ashby de la Zouch Registration District, Leicestershire. Census returns identify one child.
- Catherine (1844-1876)
He married Hannah Hilton Turner (1817-1854) in late 1848 at Bangor, Caernarvonshire, Census returns identify two children.
- Charles (b1850) – not identified after 1851 census return
- Elizabeth Ann (1852-1927)
He married Charlotte Bailey (1822-1906) on 11 May 1859 at Birkenhead Parish Church, Cheshire.
Thomas died on 7 February 1873 at Gravesend, Kent.
- 1821 Pocklington
- 1822 Brotherton
- 1824 Howden
- 1825 Dewsbury
- 1827 Preston Brook
- 1828 Swinefleet
- 1829 Brotherton
- 1830 Whitby
- 1831 N Shields
- 1832 Cambridge
- 1834 disappears
H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 1, p182; pp238-240; pp 543-546
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers