Randall, Thomas (1842-1927)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by Thomas H Bryant

With the home-call of the Rev. Thomas Randall, Primitive Methodism has lost one of her oldest ministers, and one of the best and bravest of her sons. He was born at Islington in 1842, and at the early age of twenty he entered the ministry, and was stationed at Sheffield. Two years later he went to Leicester, where he completed his probationary term. The Circuits on which he subsequenty travelled were mainly in the Midlands and the North. For many years his home life was shadowed by a great sorrow, but such was his devotion to duty that on all his Circuits he witnessed the truest success.

Owing to an affection of the throat, he superannuated in 1903, and took up his residence in the City of Gloucester. Shut out from the joy of preaching the Word, he devoted himself to the Civic and Free Church life of the City. In 1905 he was elected Secretary of the Ministers’ Fraternal, a position he held until the time of his death. For fourteen years he was Secretary of the Gloucester Free Church Council, and from 1915 to 1924 he held the Secretaryship of the Gloucestershire Federation of Free Church Councils. In 1906 he was elected a member of the Free Library Committee, and also a Representative Manager of one of the Roman Catholic Day Schools, and in both positions he rendered valued service across the years. In 1907 he was elected as a representative of his own Ward on the Gloucester Board of Guardians, and at each subsequent election he was returned at the top of the poll. As Chairman of the Children’s Committee he rendered kindly and Christian service on behalf of the little ones so seriously handicapped as they started the journey of life. In these, and in other ways, he spent the prolonged eventide of his life in the service of God, and that of the common good.

Our brother had a rather long illness about a year ago, but recovered sufficiently to take up his work once more. Then, after a brief confinement to his home, he passed away peacefully and triumphantly on Saturday, May 28th, 1927. He was a great soul, and of him it may be truly said: “Servant of God, well done.”

The funeral service, which was largely attended, was held in our Barton Street Church. The congregation was unique in its composition in that it represented all shades of public and religious opinion. Among the ministers present were:—Canon J.B. Chard (Roman Catholic), Revs. J.H. Seabrook (Church of England), C. Pengelly (Wesleyan), A.R. Paton (Presbyterian), H. Davies (Congregational), W.E. Rice (Baptist), J. Pitchford (United Methodist), G E. Barr (Church of Christ), J. Phillips and C. Dunham (Primitive Methodist). The service was conducted by the writer. Prayer was offered by Rev. H. Preston (Stroud), who represented the General and District Committees. Rev. Ivor P. Sealey read one of the lessons, and Rev. W.J. Porter paid a gracious tribute to the worth and work of a brother beloved. He referred to his friend’s refined and sensitive nature, and said that he responded with gratitude to any expression of confidence, and conversely, was discouraged and disappointed by the opposite.

The writer officiated at the graveside in the presence of a large concourse of friends. Thus was laid to rest one of “God Almighty’s gentlemen.”

Our brother owed much to the one who for 24 years had made his home-life a glad and enjoyable thing. We commend her to the care and keeping of God, and pray that she may know what Whittier meant when he sang:— 

“God calls our loved ones, ‘but we lose not wholly what He has given;
They live on earth as truly as in His heaven.”

Family

Thomas was born in 1842 at Islington, London, to parents John, a bricklayer (1851), and Lucy. He was baptised on 25 September 1842 at St Mary, Islington.

He married Ann Luke (1842-1902)  in the summer of 1867 in the Leicester Registration District, Leicestershire.

He married Lizzie Moyses (1863-1956) in late 1903 in the Barrow upon Soar, Registration District, Leicestershire.

Thomas died on 28 May 1927 at Gloucester, Gloucestershire.

Circuits

  • 1863 Sheffield I
  • 1864 Leicester I
  • 1866 Sheffield II
  • 1868 Buxton
  • 1871 Melton Mowbray
  • 1872 Newark
  • 1874 Burton on Trent
  • 1877 Sheffield II
  • 1880 Bournemouth
  • 1881 Melton Mowbray
  • 1884 Loughborough
  • 1887 Nottingham I
  • 1890 Ashbourne
  • 1893 Winterton
  • 1894 Aldershot
  • 1895 Oldham II
  • 1897 Gloucester
  • 1900 Frome
  • 1903 Frome (S)

References

PM Minutes 1927/267

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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