A transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John William Waite is attached. Waite writes:
“In 1859 he was appointed by the Conference to the Plymouth Station, under the kindly superintendence of the Rev. J. Rackham, who writes, ‘We were stationed ether at Plymouth; I found him a faithful colleague, and one of the kindest of men I ever knew. He sought to do the will of God; he lived for His glory. He was in earnest for the salvation of souls, and it was our happiness to report more than 100 increase for the year. At the Conference of 1862, we were stationed together again, this time at Weymouth, and here our dear brother laboured very successfully, and I have no doubt but that he will, ere this, have joined some whom he was the honoured agent in leading to Jesus.’
After finishing his probation, and entering into married life, we find him superintending the following stations: Merthyr Tydvil, Newport (Mon.), Abergavenny, Liskeard, Dover, Redhill, Berkhampstead, and Marlborough, where success crowned his labours. It was his joy in the Lord always on all these stations to be able, after much earnest labour and expectancy, to report increases of members and of finances. Indeed, we are persuaded from what we knew and have heard of him from very many of his colleagues, that if such results had not followed his labours, he would have been of all men most miserable.
The Rev. T. Dinnick, once his colleague, says, ‘I knew Mr. Lane for twenty years. He was a good man, a faithful preacher, and an indefatigable worker. I have heard him say that it was his consolation to be able to say, that though he had travelled on some of the hardest stations in the Connexion, he never, in one instance, had a decrease, and that souls had been converted to God on every station.’
Filled with a holy zeal for the glory of God, and a heart full of the deepest and tenderest sympathy for the souls of the perishing, no wonder that he succeeded in his heaven-appointed mission. The wonder would have been if he had failed. Failed! there is no such thing as failure attends the ministry of the man whose soul is linked in holy fellowship with God, and whose very being beats and throbs again with those divine impulses which lead him with tears and outstretched hands to seek and save the lost. Such a man was our dear brother, the worthy son of the worthy sire that led him to God.”
Thomas was born on 31 March 1833 at Par, St Balzey, Cornwall, to parents Thomas, a labourer (1851), and Sarah.
Before entering the ministry Thomas worked as a labourer at a mine (1851).
He married Mary Sowdon (b1839) in the summer of 1863 in the St Austell Registration District, Cornwall. Census returns identify four children.
- George Thomas (1865-1945) – a school teacher (1911)
- Charles Sowdon (1867-1940) – emigrated to USA in 1886; a minister (1900); attorney at law (1910)
- William Henry (abt1869-1904) – an insurance agent & local preacher (1901)
- Eva Mary (1871-1960) – a school board teacher (1891) ; married Walter William Goldstraw, a PM minister, in 1894
Thomas died on 3 March 1883 at Maldon, Essex.
- 1859 Plymouth
- 1860 S Molton
- 1862 Weymouth
- 1863 Glastonbury
- 1864 Merthyr Tydfil
- 1865 Newport, Mon
- 1867 Liskeard
- 1869 Abergavenny
- 1871 Dover
- 1872 Berkhamsted
- 1874 Redhill
- 1876 Marlborough
- 1880 Maldon
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1883/563
PM Minutes 1883/7
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers