Shimwell, Benjamin (1802-1848)


A transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Lightfoot is attached. He writes as follows in regard of benjamin’s early days in the itinerant ministry.

“At the present period we have very imperfect ideas of the hardships to which our preachers were exposed in the early part of the Connexion’s history. Frequently they were assailed by ignorant and infuriated mobs, pelted with filthy and dangerous missiles, and inured to various privations; and in reading the journal of our departed brother, I learn that, in his early missionary tours, he shared in the hardships common to his brethren. Often, when proclaiming the gospel to the outcasts of society, his voice was drowned by the ribald shouts of depraved and priest-ridden multitudes, and his person exposed to insult and injury; but none of these things moved him. Like “a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” he braved the hostilities of the enemy, “waxing valiant in fight;” and while his spirit was frequently refreshed by the copious effusions of Divine influence, his heart was gladdened by seeing souls converted to God under his ministry. Now that his warfare is ended, we can imagine the high ecstasy he realizes while associating with some glorified spirits who were led by his agency into the pathway to eternal life.”


Benjamin was born on 25 October 1802 at Youlgreave, Derbyshire, to parents Hugh and Keziah. He was baptised on 1 November 1802 at Youlgreave. 

He married Hannah Panting (1808-1830) on 29 June 1828 at Cogges, Oxfordshire. They had a daughter, born in 1829 at Malton, Yorkshire.

He married Sarah Killerby, nee Rhodes (abt1811-1891) on 25 January 1831 at Bradford, Yorkshire. Census returns identify six children.

  • Kezia (1832-1861) – married Richard Sturdy Branfoot, a ship carver & gilder (1861), in 1856
  • Martha (b1834) – a milliner & dressmaker (1881); married Thomas Walker, a coal exporter, in 1875
  • Hugh (1836-1866) – a clerk (1851)
  • Sarah Ann (1838-1840)
  • Susanna (1840-1896) – a milliner & dressmaker (1881)
  • Jemima (1842-1925) – married Benjamin Hill, a water rent collector (1871), in 1863

Benjamin died on 6 July 1848 at Whitehaven, Cumberland.


  • 1824 Leicester
  • 1827 Balderton
  • 1829 Malton
  • 1830 Bradford
  • 1832 Brotherton
  • 1834 Pocklington
  • 1836 Leeds
  • 1838 Scotter
  • 1840 Hull
  • 1842 Tadcaster
  • 1843 Halifax
  • 1845 Sunderland
  • 1847 Whitehaven


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1848/577

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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