Swinnerton, William (1880-1972)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WiLLIAM SWINNERTON: born in Attercliffe, Sheffield, in 1880, was a faithful pastor and effective preacher. He moved to Bolton early in his life, and entered the minstry from the Rawtenstall circuit. Leaving Hartley College in 1905, he served in the Alford, Shrewsbury, Hereford and Radcliffe circuits, and then in the first World War as the first Primitive Methodist minister to enlist as a private soldier, he joined the Lancashire Fusiliers. Later he was an instructor at Aldershot, and was commissioned as a chaplain. He served in France with the 10th Cheshire Regiment. He was keenly interested in sport, and was sports officer for a section of the Western Front. 

His later ministry took him to Sheffield Central Mission, Wirksworth, Hoyland, Barnsley (West), Horbury and Hull. He retired to Southport in 1946, and was active in the over-sight of the Crossens society for four years, and later of the Formby Congregational Church. 

When he was forced by increasing years to cease from active work, his interest in the life of the church and its people was real and kindly. He died in the Promenade Hospital at Southport on Sunday, 24th September, 1972, in the ninety-third year of his age and the sixty-eighth year of his ministry.


William was born 23 March 1880 at Attercliffe, Sheffield, Yorkshire, to parents James Swinnerton, a joiner’s labourer (1881), and Sarah Airey.

The 1901 census return records William working as an evangelist.

He married Margaret Blacow Hilton, nee Smith, (1868-1948) on 16 October 1915 at Southport, Lancashire.

William died on 24 September 1972 at Southport, Lancashire.


  • Hartley
  • 1905 Alford
  • 1907 Shrewsbury
  • 1909 Hereford
  • 1912 Radcliffe
  • 1916 Chaplain H.M. Forces, Aldershot
  • 1920 Sheffield Mission
  • 1924 Wirksworth
  • 1925 Hoyland
  • 1934 Barnsley W
  • 1937 Horbury Ebenezer
  • 1942 Hull, St George Rd
  • 1946 Southport (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921/466

Methodist Minutes 1973/158

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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