Lea, William (1800-1870)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.28a

William was born on 31 March 1800 at Warrington to parents Thomas Lea and Mary Lyon. His father was a cheese and corn factor, who died when William was seven. William was then brought up by his grandfather, a farmer. William was converted after hearing the preaching of Thomas Jackson at Kingsley, Cheshire. He was a local preacher in the Preston Brook area before becoming an itinerant minister.


William authored the following.

Outlines of sermons and addresses, by William Lea, Minister of the Gospel.

Autobiography of the Reverend William Lea, 1800-1870, with extracts from his diaries, annotated by Sheila Gibbs.


William married Charlotte Roberts (1808-1849) on 1 May1828 at Llangattock, Brecon, Wales. Records identify seven children.

  • Anne (1829-1846)
  • Mary (1830-1846)
  • William Theophilus (b1832) – a printer
  • Samuel (1834-1837)
  • Cornelius Henry (1836-1911) – a cabinet case and cardboard box manufacturer
  • Charlotte (1838-1921) – married Nathan Cocker, a tailor
  • Job Barnabas (1840-1902) – a shoe maker
  • Sarah (b1842) – married John Robert Newton, a tailor
  • Amelia (1845-1924) – married James William Newton, a railway district agent
  • Mary Ann (1849-1890) – married Henry Marsden in 1875. Emigrated to Australia in 1880 and later married William Turner (see comment below).

William married Hannah Carr (1809-1864) in 1850 at Whitehaven. He died on 31 May 1870 in Derby.


  • 1824 Tunstall
  • 1825 Ramsor (6 mths)
  • 1825 Oakengates (6 mths)
  • 1827 Blaenavon
  • 1828 Worcester
  • 1829 Motcombe
  • 1831 Ramsor
  • 1832 Stockport
  • 1834 Silsden
  • 1836 Huddersfield
  • 1837 Chester
  • 1839 Liverpool
  • 1840 Preston
  • 1842 Westgate
  • 1844 Alston
  • 1846 Newcastle
  • 1848 Shotley Bridge
  • 1849 Whitehaven
  • 1851 Sheffield
  • 1853 Ilkeston
  • 1855 Newark
  • 1857 Leicester l
  • 1859 Derby
  • 1862 Loughborough
  • 1863 Derby (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1849/257; 1850/73 (wife); 1871/97

PM Minutes 1870/17

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p377

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • William Lea is my 4x Great Grandfather, I would really like to be able to get a copy of his Autobiography can anyone please advise if I am likely to get one anywhere. I have tried and tried but with no success. Thank you.

    By Dena Hutchings (02/07/2019)
  • Hello, I just found information on your website about my Great Great Grandfather Rev William Lea. I noticed an error in relation to his daughter Mary Ann Lea, my great grandmather.

    You say she remarried to a Mr Turner after the death of her husband Henry Marsden. This is incorrect. Mary Ann (1849-1922) (note died in1922 not 1890) re-married to James Shearing (1844-1928) in 1888 in Hindmarsh South Australia. Mary Ann was my Great Grandmother. Her daughter Daisy, from her marriage to Henry Marsden, was my grandmother. I have photos of Mary Ann and her father William Lea

    By Ann Davenport (13/12/2016)

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