Nobbs, William Ellice (1824-1887)
William was born in 1824 at Woodton, Norfolk. His mother attended the established church. His father was not religiously inclined but was a man of great moral force of character.
At the age of 17, William moved to Loddon where he became an apprentice to a miller. It was there he started to attend PM services. He was asked to preach, but at first refused. Eventually, after making it a matter of prayer, he accepted the call. William spent 8 years as a local preacher, often travelling up to 20 miles on a Sunday to take appointments.
His obituary records that he had a passion for poetry.
He was an earnest, eloquent preacher and possessed a very attractive style; he was indeed a teacher, for treating his text in an exhaustive way, he brought the most abstruse thought very near; clearness he particularly aimed at.
His extreme conscientiousness was carried into every detail of his work; during the whole of his ministerial life he never wilfully neglected an appointment.
William married Emily Whitehead (1833-1902) in the summer of 1857 at Hartismere, Suffolk. Census returns identify four children.
- Emmalene Whitehead (b1858) – married James Simpson Greenwood, a land surveyor
- Anna Whitehead (1860-1936) – a schoolteacher and later boarding house keeper
- Edith Susanna Whitehead (1867-1954) – married Walter Adams, a grocer, draper and general dealer
- Arthur Walter Whitehead (1870-1947) – a grocer and draper
William died on 17 February 1887 at North Walsham, Norfolk.
- 1852 Bury St Edmunds
- 1855 Cambridge
- 1858 Rockland
- 1859 Diss
- 1862 Ramsgate
- 1863 Ramsey
- 1865 Bromyard
- 1866 Maidstone
- 1868 Hastings
- 1869 Ramsey
- 1871 Guildford
- 1873 Ipswich
- 1877 Fakenham
- 1879 Wangford
- 1880 Hadleigh
- 1882 Kelsale
- 1883 Briston
- 1886 N Walsham
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1881 (portrait); 1887/307
PM Minutes 1887/9
W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers