Knox, Thomas (1807-1870)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1862
Copy provided by Steven Carter

Early years

Thomas was born on 27 March 1807 at Kibblesworth, Co Durham,to parents Henry and Ann. The family moved to Beamish, Co Durham when Thomas was very young. He was sent down the coal pit as a child and grew to be a strong and energetic youth. He strayed into becoming a ringleader of the sports (pugilism). Thomas attended camp meetings and some prayer meetings out of curiosity. He found peace through believing at a prayer meeting in the house of James Porteus. Thomas joined with the Pit Hill Society.


Shortly after his conversion, Thomas became an exhorter on the plan. He was a local preacher and class leader at Pit Hill for ten years before finally responding to the call to become an itinerant minister.

Thomas particularly enjoyed missionary appointments, going to the Channel Islands and Ireland. Despite misgivings about Ireland, he found his time in Belfast one of the most enjoyable in his ministry.

When he died, Moses Lupton, then President of Conference, and earlier his first Superintendent, wrote that Thomas was a Christian man and a devoted, earnest and useful preacher. Another colleague, William Garner, wrote that his sermons were evangelical, plain and faithful.


Thomas married Rosanna Ellis (1809-1884) on 29 June 1840 at St James Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Records identify five children.

  • Ann (1844-1923) – married Stephen Gladwin, a temperance missionary
  • Charlotte (1847-1926) – married Abel Bunn, a lath render and later travelling draper
  • Thomas (1850-1872) – a railway ticket man
  • Rose Hannah (1857-1906) – married Edward Beynon Barnes, a furniture dealer
  • Jane (1853-1922) – married Thomas Banks a carpenter and joiner

Thomas died on 8 June 1870 at West Hartlepool, Co Durham.


  • 1836 Louth
  • 1837 Louth (6 mths)
  • 1837 Lincoln (6 mths)
  • 1838 Grimsby
  • 1840 Pocklington
  • 1842 Bradford
  • 1843 Alderney
  • 1844 Guernsey
  • 1847 Jersey
  • 1849 Brentwood
  • 1851 Wrexham
  • 1853 Belfast
  • 1856 Donaghmore
  • 1858 Grassington
  • 1860 Chatham
  • 1862 Gateshead (Sup)
  • 1863 Durham
  • 1865 Hartlepool


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1862 (portrait); 1871/302

PM Minutes 1870/17

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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