Saunders, Thomas (1845-1919)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1906

Early years

Thomas was born in 1845 at Kemble, Gloucestershire to parents John and Eliza. John was a blacksmith. When the PM missionaries first visited Kemble and adjacent villages, they were roughly handled by many and found no support from the land owning magnates. John had been a worshipper and chorister at the Anglican Church. He defended the missionaries and later joined with them in fellowship.

Thomas was converted through his brother during a revival period following a camp meeting. Thomas was soon a local preacher on the Cirencester circuit. The circuit at that time covered an area forty miles by twenty.


As a preacher he largely dealt with the Scriptures by exposition, but occasionally preached on a topical subject. The conversion of sinners, the erection of chapels and the care of the churches under him were his principle concerns.

In the London 2nd District Thomas served as Orphanage Secretary and later District Secretary.


Thomas married Ann Compton (b1843) in the summer of 1872 at Kemble, Gloucestershire. Census returns identify four of five children.

  • Theodore Ernest (1875-1941) – a bank manager
  • Edgar Tom (1876-1956) – a bank manager
  • Lizziannie (1878-1927) – married Robert William Wallis Podger, a harness maker
  • Sidney Charles (b1882) – a hotel clerk (1911)

Thomas died on 19 December 1919 at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.


  • 1868 Basingstoke
  • 1870 Poole
  • 1872 Sturminster
  • 1873 Brinkworth
  • 1876 Newbury
  • 1879 Motcombe
  • 1880 Aylesbury
  • 1881 Stewkley
  • 1882 Luton II
  • 1884 Ramsgate
  • 1887 Jersey
  • 1892 Tottenham
  • 1895 Kingston
  • 1899 Penge & Bromley
  • 1902 Slough
  • 1905 Tunbridge Wells
  • 1908 Hounslow
  • 1912 Kingston (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1906/171

PM Minutes 1920/266

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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