Smith, Alfred (1841-1924)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1903
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1925

Early years

Alfred was born on 10 August 1841 at Pensford, nr Bristol, Somerset to parents James and Mary Ann. James worked as a blacksmith. Alfred was one of eleven children.

Whilst growing up, Alfred attended services of the Established and Congregational Churches. He became acquainted with some Primitive Methodists when aged seventeen and working as a miner in the Tredegar circuit. It was there he was converted.

Alfred laboured as a local preacher for four years before entering the ministry. He worked at Aberdare as a hired local preacher before entering the ministry.


As a preacher, though not boisterous or demonstrative, Alfred was forceful. He presented and applied the Scriptures in such a way as to produce in his hearers the fruits of good living. He held intelligently and steadfastly to Evangelical doctrine, and aimed to lead souls to Christ and prepare people for heaven.

Being of a gentlemanly appearance, of even disposition and well read in general literature, he maintained the position of minister with grace and dignity.

After superannuation, Alfred lived in Brighton for five years, Staines for three years before finally moving to Lancaster.


Alfred married Betsey Ermina Sanders (b1844) in the summer of 1870 at Walsall, Staffordshire. Betsey was the elder daughter of Rev Samuel Sanders . Census returns identify four children.

  • Minnie Mary (1873-1951) – a headmistress of a private school
  • Maud Erena Sanders (1874-1951) – a schoolmistress in a private school
  • Alfred Samuel Woodhouse (1875-1954) – an Anglican clergyman
  • Percy James Lancelot (1879-1959) – a science schoolmaster

Alfred died on 26 September 1924 at Lancaster, Lancashire.


  • 1866 Kidderminster
  • 1868 Lichfield
  • 1870 Nantwich & Crewe
  • 1873 Knighton
  • 1876 Presteign
  • 1879 Hasbury &c
  • 1882 Madeley
  • 1885 Brierley Hill
  • 1888 Ludlow
  • 1893 Bishops Castle
  • 1896 Walsall
  • 1899 Welshpool
  • 1903 Cardiff
  • 1906 Swindon
  • 1910 Portland
  • 1911 Newhaven (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1903/171; 1925/214

PM Minutes 1925/268

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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