Lawson, William Henry (1878-1938)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM HENRY LAWSON: born at Peterborough in 1878. He was educated at the British School in Peterborough, where he served for a time as pupil teacher. After a short time as an assistant master he entered Westminster Training College. Under the conviction of a divine call he entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry. In all his circuits he is lovingly remembered. He warmly welcomed Methodist Union and worked hard to bring it into effect. A gifted preacher and devoted pastor, he was keenly  interested in the Christian Endeavour and Brotherhood movements, and sought every possible opportunity to render service in connection with them.

Among his other gifts may be mentioned the fact that he was an artist of no mean order. His was a richly endowed personality, but every talent he possessed was consecrated to the service of his Church and his Lord. His passing was sudden, following a heart attack while conducting a week-night service. The death of his younger son in 1936 was a blow from which he never recovered. His ministry, extending over thirty-five years, will be gratefully remembered, for he always proved himself to be a workman “needing not to be ashamed.” 

He died on July 22, 1938.


William was born in 1878 at Peterborough, Northamptonshire, to parents Alfred Lawson, a blacksmith (1881), and Emma Rushworth.

He married Ellen Louise Dolman (1879-1961) in the summer of 1907 in the Depwade Registration District, Norfolk. Ellen was the grand-daughter of Rev W. Dolman. Census returns and birth records identify three children.

  • Gerald Henry (1908-1990) – a newspaper district reporter (1939)
  • Roderick Douglas (1913-1936)
  • Edna Violet (1916-2000) – clerk & shorthand typist (1939)

William died on 22 July 1938 at Swaffham, Norfolk..


  • 1903 Wymondham
  • 1907 Manea
  • 1910 Colchester
  • 1912 Markham
  • 1916 Wisbech
  • 1919 Harwich
  • 1924 Wickambrook
  • 1925 Swindon I
  • 1930 Chatham
  • 1935 Swaffham


Methodist Minutes 1939/195

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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