Stafford, William (1816-1861)


A transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Henry Stafford is attached. He includes the following.

“As a preacher he was generally admired. Some of his sermons were of no mean order, but often faithful expositions and clear illustrations of Divine truth. He was approved of by the Church, and owned of God in the conversion of souls; and we trust there were some in heaven to greet him on his arrival, and there are others to follow him, who will be the crown of his rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus. He preached his last sermon, November 1860, from Proverbs iii. 17,— “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.” Speaking of this in his affliction, he said, “I had an impression that night that I should never preach again.”

As a class-leader, he was faithful and pointed in his admonitions and counsels, and was greatly beloved by his members.

As a teacher in the school, his instructions were much sought after by young men, whose improvement he ever strove to promote, and some now labouring in the ministry feel grateful for the benefits they received at his hands. He was a member of the orchestra, where he could be useful either by assisting with the flute or the violin, as well as in other ways. Considering his means, there are few men to be found who have made a greater proficiency than he had in English grammar, and the way in which he taught it in his class was really pleasing and beneficial, allowing any scholar to ask any question about it which he might think proper. He made himself conversant with various sciences, on some of which he gave lectures, viz., grammar, music, geography, astronomy, and electricity. “


William was born on 26 February 1816 at Woodley, Cheshire, to parents William and Jane.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1841 cotton weaver
  • 1851 overlooker of power loom weaving
  • 1861 newsagent

He married Martha Clayton (1817-1891) in early 1838 in the  Ashton under Lyne Registration District, Lancashire. Census returns identify seven children.

  • David (1839-1868) – a cotton weaver (1861)
  • Aaron (1841-1893) – a cotton mill manager (1871)
  • Hannah (1843-1914) – married Elijah Rowbotham, a hatter, in 1867
  • Jabez (1845-1922) – a millwright in wool mill (1881)
  • Catherine (1849-1911) – married Samuel Holden, a cotton dresser in cotton mill (1891), in 1875 
  • Abel (1851-1910) – a millwright and mechanic (1891)
  • Ellen Ann (1853-1933) – married Joseph Williamson, a wire worker (1881), in 1875

William died on 1 May 1861 at Bredbury, Stockport, Cheshire.


  • 1836 Stockport – ill after 5 months


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1861/583

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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