Leech, Henry (1808-1881)
Henry was born on 20 February 1808 at Ely, Cambridgeshire to parents Richard and Ellen. He was baptised on 8 Mar 1808 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Henry was orphaned at a young age and was fostered by an aunt. He was a class leader in the Wesleyan Methodists before he was 21 years old. His Wesleyan membership was suspended in 1828 because he attened a camp meeting. He joined with the Primitive Methodists at Wednesbury and became a local preacher.
Petty records that membership in the Birmingham circuit increased significantly during the period when Henry was superintendent, from 1846 to 1850. Kendall reports it was not until 1851, that the first small Connexional Chapel was built in Birmingham. This was New John Street, built in the last year of Henry Leech’s useful term in the Birmingham Circuit.
Christian Conversation as a Means of Grace by Henry Leech can be found in the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1851.
Wesley’s views of the holy scriptures : being the only Christian guide to holiness and heaven, stated in a lecture by Henry Leech , Published 1864
Henry married Rebecca Brothwood (1811-1874). Census returns identify six children.
- Rebecca Brothwood (1836-1904) – married James Arnold, a PM Minister, who travelled to USA without his family in 1876.
- Henry (b1839)
- Hannah (b1841) – married Henry Brown, a boot manufacturer.
- Sarah (1843-1918) – married John Butcher, a PM Minister
- Henria Helen (1846-1904) – a schoolmistress; married Henry Williams, a railway signal engineer
- Henry Richmond (1855-1906 ) – a surgeon
Henry died on 23 May 1881 at Willaston, nr Crewe, Cheshire.
- 1831 Wrockwardinewood
- 1832 Presteign
- 1835 Cwm
- 1837 Dudley
- 1838 Macclesfield
- 1841 Prees
- 1843 Ludlow
- 1846 Birmingham
- 1851 Burland
- 1853 Shrewsbury
- 1854 Lichfield
- 1855 Patrington
- 1856 Tadcaster
- 1858 Wrockwardinewood
- 1862 Presteign
- 1863 Kidderminster
- 1864 Oswestry
- 1866 Whitchurch
- 1868 Stratford
- 1870 Redditch
- 1871 Wellington (S)
- 1872 Wrockwardinewood
- 1877 Crewe
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1854/fr (portrait)
PM Minutes 1881/16
J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p414, p489
H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p472
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers