Mitchell, Thomas D.D. (1844-1915)

photo taken in London, c1901
Englesea Brook Museum 10.04
Englesea Brook Museum 10.04
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1903
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

Early years

Thomas was born on 31 July 1844 at Low Moor, nr Bradford, Yorkshire.

At the conclusion of his apprenticeship, Thomas went into business in Barnsley, and resided there with a Primitive Methodist family, where he was brought into contact with Rev George Mercer and William Broadbent Luddington, who was then a local preacher. Through their ministry Thomas found the Lord and started at once on a course of spiritual ministries. He became a Sunday school teacher and a local preacher.


Although appointed to Saffron Walden in 1886, Thomas arranged to spend a year at Elmfield College. On leaving Elmfield he went to Barnsley.

As his ministry developed, Thomas was seen as a capable businessman so was appointed by Conference at Book Steward for a term of five years.  In 1893 Thomas was Secretary of Conference In 1901 he became Secretary of the Chapel Extension Fund, residing in London. Thomas also served some years as Financial Secretary to the Missionary Society.

The time during which Thomas was Book Steward was a period of transition when the Publishing House moved from Sutton Street to the City. Despite this, Thomas managed the affairs of the Publishing house to increase both turnover and profit.

Thomas was President of Conference in 1902. In that capacity, Thomas represented the Primitive Methodist people at the coronation of Edward VIIth. In 1912, Thomas became President of the National Free Church Council.

In his latter years Thomas became Secretary to Sir William P. Hartley’s Philanthropic Fund. He gave the Hartley lecture in 1905 on the topic of ‘Christian Beneficence’, speaking lucidly on the importance of systematic giving.

His obituary records that his preaching was always evangelical and practical.


Thomas married Mary Petty (b abt 1835) towards the end of 1871 at York. Mary was a daughter of John Petty. Census returns identify two children.

  • John Petty (1873-1936) – a solicitor
  • Thirza Mary (1875-1959)

Thomas died on 15 February 1915 at Crewe, Cheshire. He was buried at Southport, Lancashire.


  • 1866 Saffron Walden
  • 1867 Barnsley
  • 1870 Bradford II
  • 1873 Halifax
  • 1875 Bingley
  • 1879 Burnley
  • 1883 Hull I
  • 1886 Hull V
  • 1890 Hull II
  • 1895 Book Steward
  • 1900 Leeds II
  • 1901 Secretary of CEF
  • 1909 Southport


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/855; 1903/3; 1912/363; 1915/272

PM Minutes 1915/36

The Primitive Methodist 1893/393

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 1, p388, p483

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p268

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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