Norris, Levi (1841-1905)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1892
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1906

Early years

Levi was born on 1 September 1841 at Mere, Wiltshire.

The 1892 biography, in the Primitive Methodist Magazine, comments that when Levi grew up in the Wiltshire countryside; ‘Lads were not house plants in those days’.

Levi was converted aged 13 and became known locally as the ‘Boy preacher’.


Levi superintended the erection of the Stroud Rd Chapel at Gloucester in 1901 at a cost of £2680.

The Temperance movement always found Levi to be an able and popular advocate.

His obituary records that Levi was blessed with a robust constitution, a commanding presence, fine voice, boundless energy and a wealth of conviction that made him a power in the political arena for many years; and his prowess as an educationalist was recognised by his appointment and service on the Leeds School Board.

In doctrine he was strictly evangelical and his preaching was marked by a rare simplicity, clearness of conception and expression, whole souled fervour, directness of personal appeal, and in indescribable ‘wooing and beseeching’ that often made his appeals irresistible.

Unfortunately a major operation shortly before his superannuation left Levi unable to preach during his short period of superannuation.


Levi married Mary Bartley (b1837) on 27 September 1865 at Motcombe Primitive Methodist Chapel. Census returns identify five children.

  • Minnie Bartley (1866-1941) – married Henry Armstrong Lansley, a building merchant’s manager (1911)
  • Cecil Walter (b1870) – a land agent (1905); unemployed in 1911
  • Walter Bartley (b1871) – a draper’s assistant in 1891
  • James Reginald (1873-1947) – a photographic dealer (1911)
  • Stanley Percival (1880-1882)

Levi died on 11 June 1905 at Gloucester.


  • 1861 Banbury
  • 1863 Leamington
  • 1865 Banbury
  • 1866 Brinkworth
  • 1869 Hungerford
  • 1872 Southampton
  • 1875 Aylesbury
  • 1878 Newbury
  • 1880 Grimsby l
  • 1882 Manchester lV
  • 1884 Brinkworth
  • 1888 Selby
  • 1891 Leeds ll
  • 1894 Dewsbury
  • 1897 Salisbury
  • 1900 Gloucester


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1892/129; 1906/992

PM Minutes 1905/24

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p414

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • This page was modified on 27 July 2018 to add a transcription of Levi’s obituary, published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1906.

    By Geoff Dickinson (27/07/2018)

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