Kendall, Dennis (1824-1896)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by F.W. Atkin

DENNIS KENDALL was born at Ashby, Lincs., in 1824, and belonged to a family notable in Primitive Methodism. His call from God came early, and in 1847 he entered the active service of the ministry on the Swinefleet Circuit. He subsequently laboured with much success on the following stations:—Bedford, Belfast, Pembroke Dock, Saffron Walden, High Wycombe (twice), Wickhambrook, Reading (twice), Northampton, Maidenhead, Canterbury, Leighton Buzzard, Weymouth, Croydon, Pocklington, Alford, York, Huddersfield, North Cave. 

Mr. Kendall’s was not an active ministry in name only. He was in labours more abundant, and so devoted to his work that he never seemed to think of a holiday for rest. For many years the only change he desired or had was his removal from one circuit to another, varied by an occasional special service on an old station or elsewhere. All through he was a great ruler of men and knew how to keep his stations well in hand with the utmost thoughtfulness for others. 

His helpmeet in life, to whom he was married at Bedford in 1853, shared his burdens and assisted in his toils, enabling him to keep at his work most continuously. Mr. Kendall’s health stood by him wonderfully, and his last illness was the first serious bodily affliction since he entered the ministry.

What a wise adviser and director of young men our departed friend was. Well does the writer remember, along with a group of others just put on the Plan (the firstfruits of a wonderful revival on the Alford circuit), gathering around him to get a word of encouragement and help. And the last young colleague who laboured with him now writes of his deep affection and cherished memory. For 44 years Mr. Kendall did the work of a faithful minister, and then settled at High Wycombe, where lives his son Fred and his daughter, the wife of Mr. Haddow, late a master in Elmfield College. 

The five years of retirement were mellow with ripening saintliness, and no one was better welcomed by our people in either pulpit or home. The last sermon he preached was at his native place in the Kendall Memorial chapel. And so the sun went westering down, until on 11th September, 1896, the angel of death opened the gates of life, and he passed from our view to ‘where beyond these voices there is peace.’ The interment took place in High Wycombe cemetery, by the side of his late wife who had passed to her rest a year and a half earlier. A large crowd of friends gathered at the grave side, amongst whom were all the Nonconformist ministers of the town, and the Vicar and Mayor. 

Rev. D. Kendall was a true man, a faithful friend, and a devoted Christian, ever thinking of himself last; doing an earnest work without assumption, and leaving a deep mark on the lives of hundreds, many of whom have now welcomed him home to be ‘For ever with the Lord.’


Dennis was born on 7 March 1824 at Ashby, Lincolnshire, to parents Thomas, a carrier, and Fanny. he was baptised on 16 August 1824 at Bottesford, Lincolnshire. His brothers Charles, Thomas and Amos were also PM ministers.

He married Matilda Green (1823-1895) in late 1852 at Bedford, Bedfordshire. Census returns identify four children.

  • Arthur Maydwell (1855-1923) – a journalist (1911)
  • Fanny Matilda (1857-1933) – married James Joseph Swann, a PM minister (1881), and later an Anglican clergyman (1911), in 1881
  • Frederick Dennis (1858-1932) – a PM minister (1881); later a newsagent shopkeeper and sub-postmaster (1911)
  • Madeline Sophia (abt1863-1934) – married Hamilton Haddow, a schoolmaster (1911) in 1888

Dennis died on 11 September 1896 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire..


  • 1847 Bedford
  • 1848 Northampton
  • 1949 Maidstone
  • 1850 Lurgan
  • 1851 Pembroke
  • 1852 Saffron Walden
  • 1854 High Wycombe
  • 1856 Reading
  • 1857 Northampton
  • 1859 Maidenhead
  • 1862 Canterbury
  • 1865 Leighton Buzzard
  • 1867 Reading
  • 1870 Weymouth
  • 1873 London
  • 1875 Pocklington
  • 1878 Alfred
  • 1882 York I
  • 1885 Huddersfield
  • 1887 North Cave
  • 1889 High Wycombe
  • 1893 High Wycombe (Sup)


PM Minutes 1897/19

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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