Proctor, William (1803-1870)


A transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Milner is attached.

William became a local preacher in 1824, some two years after his conversion. He initially became a travelling preacher in 1827 but an affliction of the throat caused his retirement. After twelve months rest he was able to resume ‘travelling’ in December 1829 at Halifax.

Milner describes his preaching as follows.

‘As a preacher he was not great but useful. His diary abounds with illustrations of his usefulness. He was in labours more abundant. Night after night souls were converted under him. We give the following from his diary:— “April 22nd spoke at Goole Banks to a large assembly in a round house beneath a windmill, and had six sacks of wheat for my pulpit; the word was with power, nine souls all at once and altogether cried for mercy.” It would be no difficult thing to fill pages with records of successes. We forbear. Long journeys, poor homes, dark nights, much preaching, and often with an empty stomach, were things with which our ministers in those days were made familiar. Outpost duty had to be done, pioneering work to be accomplished. These were the days of the connexion’s hard battles with power prejudice, and poverty, and were also the period of her grandest conquests. In these labours and conquests our good brother shared with much joy.‘


William was born on 22 December 1803 at Otley, Yorkshire.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1851 hosier
  • 1861 PM local preacher and hosier

I have not been able to identify William’s wife in online records.

William died on 19 November 1870 at Keighley, Yorkshire.


  • 1830 Tadcaster
  • 1831 Brotherton
  • 1833 Malton
  • 1835 Scotter
  • 1936 Lincoln
  • 1837 Louth
  • 1838 Hull
  • 1842 Settle
  • 1843 Whitby
  • 1844 Ripon
  • 1847 Berwick
  • 1848 became a local preacher


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1870/677

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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