Richards, Thomas Henry (1846-1901)
Thomas was born on 4 January 1846 at Rippingale, Lincolnshire to parents John and Jane. John was a farmer, able local preacher and efficient class-leader. The family home was the home of travelling and local preachers. The travelling preachers often stayed several nights together using it as a base to reach surrounding villages.
Thomas gave his life to God at the age of twelve. He dedicated himself to learning, especially the study of the Scriptures. He started to preach when aged fourteen. At that age he was sent to study at Corby Grammar School, Grantham. He developed through the school and became an assistant master until he entered the ministry.
As a preacher, Thomas was useful rather than brilliant or popular. His preaching was mainly expository, but with a distinctly spiritual tone and purpose. Sound scholarship, wide reading, and earnest and life-ling study of the Scriptures underpinned his richly instructive ministry.
For more than twelve years Thomas contributed a great portion of the material for the Teacher’s Assistant.
In 1899, Thomas was appointed as Secretary and Convener of a Special Committee for the preparation of a Connexional Catechism.
Thomas authored the following.
England’s light-bringer: or, the story of the English bible
Handbook of introduction to the books of the New Testament, 1902
Thomas married Maria Trueman (1840-1892) in the summer of 1868 at Basford, Nottinghamshire. Census returns identify three children.
- Alice Maud (b1873) – a music teacher (1911)
- Ida Mary (1876-1966) – married John Fletcher Porter, a medical practitioner
- Florence Marguerita (b1882) – married Joseph Godber, a veterinary surgeon
Thomas married Sophia Swallow, nee Law, (b1848) in early 1894 at Liverpool, Lancashire. Sophia was the widow of Rev Thomas Swallow, a PM Minister.
Thomas died on 23 March 1901 at Loughborough, Leicestershire.
- 1865 Rotherham
- 1866 Loughborough
- 1867 Nottingham II
- 1868 Sheffield II
- 1870 Ashby de la Zouch
- 1873 Derby I
- 1875 Buxton
- 1878 Burton on Trent
- 1880 Sleaford
- 1883 Wolverhampton
- 1884 Leeds III
- 1887 Loughborough
- 1890 Keighley II
- 1892 Harrogate
- 1894 Easton
- 1895 W Hartlepool
- 1897 Burton on Trent (S)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1900/163; 1902/386
PM Minutes 1901/34
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers