Thomas was born on 5 April 1842 at York to parents William and Ann. William was a shoemaker and PM local preacher. Originally the family was Wesleyan, but joined the Primitive Methodists in 1849 due to the Wesleyan Reforms.
Thomas was converted on 7 July 1861. His father was conducting a service at Lund. Miss S Appleton gave an address on ‘The Master in come and calleth for thee’. Both Thomas and his brother John were converted and John married the preacher! Two years later Thomas was put on the plan.
Thomas also worked as a shoemaker before entering the ministry.
Thomas’ preaching style was expository, but in all his utterances there was a ring of evangelical conviction. His sermons were an admirable blend of teaching and appeal, being always lucid, interesting, easily remembered and impassioned.
Thomas was known as being careful and methodical in administration and circuit affairs.
His strong political convictions took him into the field of political strife, and in Temperance work, he was especially conspicuous. In 1872, Thomas joined the Good Templars and thereafter continued as a devoted member and official of the Order.
Thomas married Elizabeth Chevins (1843-1922) in the summer of 1870 at Worksop, Nottinghamshire. Elizabeth was a noted evangelist before her marriage. Census returns identify eight children.
- Letitia Burnett (1871-1902) – married Joseph Watson, a printer
- Ernest Buckenham (1873-1964) – a PM Minister
- Arthur Malins (1874-1947) – an accountant
- Clarissa Moffat (1876-1888)
- Bertram Vincent (1878-1934) – a works chemist
- Horace Bristow (b1879) – a civil servant
- Alfred Clement (1881-1962) – a music teacher
- Norman Gladstone (1883-1959) – a clerk (1911)
Thomas died on 1 February 1914 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
- 1865 Tadcaster
- 1867 Retford
- 1868 Patrington
- 1870 Market Rasen
- 1872 Spalding
- 1873 Grimsby II
- 1874 Winterton
- 1878 Barton on Humber
- 1880 Louth
- 1882 Tetney
- 1887 Tadcaster
- 1889 Malton
- 1891 York I
- 1892 Castleford
- 1894 Doncaster I
- 1896 Gainsborough
- 1898 Hull III
- 1901 Bath
- 1904 Bristol
- 1907 Aldershot
- 1908 Grimsby (Sup)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/642; 1914/410; 1923/73 (wife)
PM Minutes 1914/41
W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers