Nelson, Thomas (1797-1848)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Nelson

Died, on February 11th, 1848, at Rothwell, near Leeds, in Yorkshire, THOMAS NELSON, aged fifty-one years. He was converted to God when about seventeen years of age; in seven years afterwards he entered into the itinerant ministry among the Primitive Methodists; and his zeal, acceptability, and success in this sphere were extensively acknowledged in various parts of England. Many persons are living who were brought to God through his labours, while many have gone to their eternal rest. 

The failure of his health compelled him to locate at Rothwell; where for twenty years he suffered much from asthma, on account of which he was usually confined to his room for some months in each winter, His affliction was sanctified to his benefit; and calmly he approached the final conflict, and had the victory. 

Dropsy eventually appeared, and every hope of his recovery was withered. Apprised of his danger, I hastened to see him; and when I entered his room he exclaimed aloud that I had found him on the verge of glory. As Jordan’s billows rolled towards him he looked beyond them to paradise, and joyfully uttered praises to God as he neared the river’s brink. I had the melancholy satisfaction of remaining with him to witness his conduct as life waned; and, O! it was cheering to see with what valour he sustained excruciating pain, and rallied his faith for each succeeding attack of the last enemy. As the struggle closed, he seemed to sleep; and when his spirit had fled to the Saviour we knew only by the absence of respiration that the body was untenanted—so sweetly and softly did he escape from this suffering world to join in the everlasting hallelujahs of heaven. 

“Beyond the glittering starry skies,” many redeemed spirits, brought to Jesus through his toil, were awaiting his exit; and rapturously they greeted him as he entered the celestial city. May the readers and writer of these lines meet the deceased where redemption’s song is eternally joyous!


Thomas was born abt1797 at Disforth, Ripon, Yorkshire. His brother, John, was also a PM minister.

The 1841 census return identifies Thomas as a gardener.

He married Mary Cheeseborough (abt1794-1869) on 4 April 1822 at York, Yorkshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • Mary (b1823)
  • Isabella (b1828)
  • Elizabeth (b1831) – a dressmaker and milliner (1851); married David Ellis, a coal miner (1861), in 1857

Thomas died in February 1848 at Rothwell, Leeds, Yorkshire.


  • 1821 Hull
  • 1826 London
  • 1827 Darlaston
  • 1828 ill


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1824/9; 1848/440

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p170

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p176, 209,229

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


A story about a backslider having a narrow escape from death.

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