Stephenson, Thomas (1861-1950)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS STEPHENSON: born in 1861, he entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry from Hartley College in 1890, retiring in 1921 owing to ill-health. He served at Maldon, Brighton, Maidstone, Leeds, Burton-on-Trent, Leicester, Chertsey, Wallingford, and Portland. 

Deep the joy when his young son Raymond was ordained in 1927, but deep the sorrow on Raymond’s untimely death. 

Thomas Stephenson was a student all his days, a lover of books, a faithful preacher and gracious pastor, and a poet. The serenity of his countenance in old age expressed the quiet heart. He was the soul of courtesy with a genius for friendship; a cultured Christian gentleman giving dignity to everything he touched. He exercised the gentle art of letter-writing, using his pen to comfort and cheer a large circle of friends. He wrote a beautiful hand, and as a correspondent was distinguished by his insight into the ultimates, the voice of the centuries as contrasted with the noise and tumult of nations raging together. He died on the 19th August 1950, at Whitstable in Kent, a county he had learned to love, and he died in the gladness of the promises.


Thomas was born on 18 July 1861 at Ludworth, Co. Durham, to parents Joseph, a coal miner, and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 30 July 1861 at Durham.

Thomas worked as a coal miner before entering the ministry (1881).

He married Mary Jane Holborn (1865-1950) in the summer of 1893 at Darlington, Co. Durham. Census returns identify five children.

  • Joseph Holborn (1895-1943) – chief clerk, Westminster Bank, Luton (1939)    
  • Gladys Mary (1896-1977) – a private school teacher (1939)       
  • Doris May (1900-1985) – a private school teacher (1939)
  • Thomas Raymond (1902-1934) – a PM minister    
  • Ellen Ivy (1904-1992) – a housekeeper (1939)

Thomas died on 19 August 1950 at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, Kent.


  • Hartley
  • 1889 Birmingham
  • 1890 Maldon
  • 1891 Brighton I
  • 1893 Maidstone
  • 1896 Bedale
  • 1898 St Helens Auckland
  • 1901 Allendale
  • 1904 Lynn
  • 1905 Rothwell
  • 1907 Burton on Trent II
  • 1910 Supernum
  • 1911 Leicester (Ac)
  • 1912 Chertsey
  • 1915 Wallingford
  • 1916 Supernum
  • 1919 Portland (Ac)
  • 1921 Canterbury
  • 1922 Whitstable (S)


Methodist Minutes 1951/121

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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