Milson, Parkinson (1825-1892)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1876
Frontispiece to the Life of Milson Parkinson
Rev Parkinson Milson gravestone 1892: Hull General Cemetery
Christopher Hill September 2020

Early life

Parkinson was born on 6 November 1825 at Broughton, Lincolnshire to parents Edward Milson and Hannah Dunn. He was baptised on 18 December 1825 at Broughton. His parents sent him to the Church Sunday School.

Although deemed to be a respectable citizen, Parkinson’s father, an agricultural labourer, was a drunkard.

Parkinson was converted in July 1843 at a prayer meeting in the house of William Neal at Broughton.  He went on the plan soon after his conversion. Parkinson worked as a woodman before entering the ministry.

Both William Garner and John Bywater encouraged Parkinson to enter the ministry, however, his natural modesty held him back. Following a narrow escape from death when a large oak tree fell on him, Parkinson vowed to follow God’s calling and entered the ministry.


Parkinson was a prolific writer in his journals, which run to some 20 volumes. These have been summarised in the book written by Shaw about his life.


Parkinson authored the following.

Salem’s harp: being hymns and poems on miscellaneous subjects , 1863


Parkinson married Jane Southern (1827-1917) at Sculcoates, in the spring of 1851. Census returns identify four children. The 1911 census reveals that Jane had six children in total.

  • Jane Parkinson (1855-1938) – married Henry Kirk, a PM Minister
  • Clowes Garner (1857-1931) – a PM Minister
  • Priscilla Southern (1862-1921)
  • Enoch George E (1868-1909) – a PM evangelist

Parkinson died on 19 November 1892 at Hull, Yorkshire.


  • 1847 Hull
  • 1849 Grimsby
  • 1851 London l
  • 1853 Louth
  • 1855 Hull l
  • 1857 Brigg
  • 1859 Grimsby
  • 1861 Epworth
  • 1864 Selby
  • 1867 Filey
  • 1869 Hull ll
  • 1871 Hull lll
  • 1873 Grimsby l
  • 1877 Scarborough
  • 1880 Sheffield lll
  • 1884 Bridlington
  • 1886 Hull ll
  • 1890 Hull (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1876 (portrait); 1913/689

PM Minutes 1893/22

The Primitive Methodist, 1892, p788; 1893 p70

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p62

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 1, p421, p422, p426; vol 2, p260, p363, p462

G Shaw, Life of Parkinson Milson, 1893

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • Rediscovered yesterday a ‘shield’ for Enoch Parkinson who died in Bakewell.
    It is in four parts and the leaded inscription is largely missing but is complete. A shame I cannot post a photo here.

    Karen Friends of Hull General Cemetery

    By Karen Towner (08/04/2021)
  • Lincolnshire Archives, Lincoln has the following records:

    Ref. MLL1497: Portrait c.1870s of Rev. Parkinson Milson, Primitive Methodist Preacher (1825-1892), born Broughton near Brigg, Lincolnshire.

    Book (readable via Life of Rev.Parkinson Milson, by Rev. G. Shaw, published 1883, copyright expired. 

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (08/12/2017)
  • The social conditions experienced by a Primitive Methodist travelling preacher is in some aspects challenged by his life. For example we know that Parkinson and Jane his wife were supported by a servant. Also having on many occasions walked through ploughed and muddy fields, whilst in the Grimsby circuit in 1859 he bought a mule- an eight year old mule that neither bit nor kicked and became famous known by the name of Sally. This increased his speed of movement from 2-3 miles per hour to six. Sally was bought for  eight pounds with another two for the bridle- and in the Epworth circuit he was known as the mule riding preacher. Sally was sold in 1865 for a pony, and he wrote in 1870 “I rode a mule for five years about 10,000 miles and a pony five, which I rode about 10,000 and it drew me about 5,000. We fell 21 times, but I never fell off the saddle except the first time we fell.”

    By David Leese (03/07/2014)

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