A transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by E. Dalton is attached. he quotes a circuit minister at Hull as follows.
‘He was a man to be trusted. His opinions were carefully formed, his judgments well weighed, and his counsel safe. He reached his convictions slowly but held them with great firmness. His knowledge was wide, his grip of truth vigorous and his nature many-sided. His life was simple, spiritual, saintly. The things of God were real to him, and he was most at home in the religious atmosphere. It was easy to converse with him on spiritual things. Heaven lay open to him, and business and religion were one.’
His obituary records that the illness that caused his superannuation was caused by being placed in a damp bed.
William was born on 19 August 1844 at Wootton, Lincolnshire, to parents Robert Smith, a cordwainer (1861), and Mary Anne Pearson.
Census returns identify the following occupations for William.
- 1861 cordwainer
- 1871 PM minister
- 1881 PM minister retired for the time being owing to poor health
- 1891 superannuated PM minister & estate and insurance agent
- 1901 house & estate agent
- 1911 retired PM minister
He married Elizabeth Cooper (1842-1871) in the summer of 1870 at Sheffield, Yorkshire. Census returns identify one child.
- Ada Elizabeth (1871-1927) – a stocking machinist (hosiery) (1901); married Richard Calvert, a grocer (1911), in 1904
He married Ann Charlesworth (b abt1850) in late 1872 at Hull, Yorkshire. Census returns identify four children.
- Edith Annie (b1874) – a pupil teacher at Board school (1891)
- Florence Mary (1875-1955) – married Harry Emerson Cotton, a book-keeper (1911), in 1905
- Ethel Gertrude (b1878) – assistant mistress in a secondary school (1911)
- Sydney Herbert (b1883) – a civil servant examiner at Patent Office (1911)
He married Elizabeth Dalby (1847-1925) in the spring of 1908 at Hull, Yorkshire.
William died on 11 March 1915 at Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire
- 1865 North Cave
- 1867 Selby
- 1869 Doncaster
- 1870 Scarborough
- 1873 Hull III
- 1875 Hull II (Sup)
PM Minutes 1915/45
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers