Rawnsley, Philip (1840-1869)


A transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Dumbell is attached. He writes as follows: 

“In endeavouring to form an estimate of Mr. Rawnsley’s character, there are a few things of which we may make special mention. He was humble and unassuming in his manners, he was free from everything like ostentatious display, and, though pleased when conscious that his sermons were appreciated, yet there seemed to be no hankering after mere popular applause. He was a diligent student, possessing good natural powers; these he endeavoured carefully to cultivate, convinced that it was his duty to improve the mental capabilities with which God had endowed him, and believing that the highest culture of the intellect is quite compatible with the deepest experience of religious truth; that the rays emanating from the lamp of knowledge harmoniously blend with the light flowing from the Sun of Righteousness. He diligently sought, by a systematic course of study, to furnish his mind with a good supply of solid information. By “redeeming the time” and hard study he had acquired a tolerable knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages, as well as a correct and pretty extensive acquaintance with the grand themes of the Bible. There is little doubt, had his valuable life been spared to an average length, that he would have risen to a very respectable position in the Connexion, both as a scholar and a theologian. He was also an acceptable preacher. His sermons were generally well prepared; his language, for the most part, was well chosen; and his style, luminous and clear, so that the most illiterate of his hearers might understand his meaning. However much he delighted in the study of metaphysical subjects out of the pulpit, he was careful to preach Christ and him crucified to the people; while he strove to be logical, he also aimed at being practical. His tall and somewhat spare form, always neatly apparelled, gave him a dignified appearance in the pulpit. And this, combined with a graye and unaffected demeanour, gave to his preaching (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) a power and impressiveness which frequently reached the hearts of those who listened to his appeals.”


Philip was born on 10 May 1840 at Esholt, nr. Leeds, Yorkshire, to parents Henry, a wool carder (1841), and Mary.

Before entering the ministry, Philip worked as a clerk at a gas works (1861).

He married Annie Storey (b1836) in the summer of 1866 at Carlisle, Cumberland. Birth records identify two children.

  • Philip Henry (1868-1909) – a ship engineer (1901)    
  • Elizabeth Mary (1869-1889)         

Philip died on 29 June 1869 at Chester, Cheshire.

Annie married John Drury , a warehouseman (1881) in late 1877 in the West Derby Registration District, Lancashire.


  • 1862 Manchester I
  • 1863 Preston Brook
  • 1865 Liverpool II
  • 1866 Haslingden
  • 1868 Stalybridge


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1870/174

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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