Kirkland, William John (1845-1915)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910

Early years

William was born on 12 May 1845 at New Mills, Derbyshire, to parents Ambrose Kirkland and Ellen Yeomans. Ambrose was a PM Minister. Ellen was also a preacher for nearly seventy years.

In 1864, William began to preach in the Northwich circuit and in 1866, William was called to supply in the same circuit due to the illness and death of Rev Matthew Lee.

In 1871, William was working as a clerk for a railway company at Crewe, Cheshire.


William served as Secretary of the District’s Synodical Sunday School Union, Temperance and Missionary Departments. He took an active part in the Passive Resistance Movement and was summonsed for the non-payment of rates for sectarian teaching.

His obituary records that William was richly dowered with a commanding presence, a vigorous personality, and a keen business acumen. He was a fervently evangelical preacher.

William was widely travelled having visited France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Canada and USA.


William married Harriet Moses (1851-1921) on 16 December 1868 at Runcorn, Cheshire. Census returns identify seven children.

  • Sarah Ellen (1870-1898) – married Thomas Stanley Bridge, an insurance agent
  • Annie Louisa (b1874) – married Thomas Stanley Bridge, an insurance agent
  • Rufus John (1877-1955) – PM minister; emigrated to Canada in 1920
  • Charles Ernest (1883-1960) – a prison warder (1911)
  • Ethel Maud (b1885) – a dressmaker (1911)
  • Gladys Edith (b1886) – a music teacher (1911)
  • Clara Elsie (1888-1948)

William died on 2 May 1915 at Macclesfield, Cheshire.


  • 1874 Tunstall
  • 1876 Silsden
  • 1877 Skipton
  • 1881 Pontefract
  • 1884 Lymm
  • 1887 Bolton II
  • 1890 Bradley Green
  • 1893 Warrington
  • 1896 Birmingham I
  • 1898 Melton Mowbray
  • 1899 Hinckley
  • 1903 Sandbach
  • 1906 Stafford
  • 1910 Macclesfield
  • 1914 Macclesfield (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910/255

PM Minutes 1915/30

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Hudson/Milburn/Tiffin/Ash Family Tree on

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