Saunders, William Edmund (1819-1879)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1867

Early Life

William was born in 1819 at Worcester, Worcestershire, to parents William and Eleanor. He was baptised on 7 April 1819 at St Clements, Worcester. William senior was a local preacher who resided at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire. He was able to provide William with what, at the time, was considered a good education.

In 1840, William having left school was considering commencing a school himself. He came into contact with Richard Cordingley who pressed him into the ministry to replace a colleague who had retired due to ill health.


William was especially apt in making the obscure pain and in presenting Gospel doctrines in words of easy grip. Many who heard him in the days of physical strength and mental vivacity repeat his words and illustrations of the truth with grateful hearts.

William was a teetotaller for many years. He also had a particular interest in Geology and gave illustrated lectures on the subject.


William married Maria Brown (1826-1862) in 1844 at Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. Census returns identify two children

  • Samuel (1850-1920) – an engineer, maker of hot water heating appliances
  • Ann Maria (b abt 1854)

William married Ann Nicholas in 1863 at Presteigne, Radnorshire. Census returns identify three children

  • Clement Eric (1864-1948) – a clerk and book-keeper
  • Sebert Nicholas (1865-1952 – an engineer’s cost clerk
  • Laneta (b1867) – married James Johnson, a small ware hawker in 1891

William died on 6 July 1879 at Manchester, Lancashire.


  • 1840 Newcastle under Lyme
  • 1842 Ludlow
  • 1843 Much Wenlock
  • 1845 Longton
  • 1846 Market Drayton
  • 1848 Whitchurch
  • 1850 Leek
  • 1852 Bishops Castle
  • 1854 Tunstall
  • 1857 Prees Green
  • 1859 Darlaston
  • 1861 Newcastle under Lyme
  • 1864 Ramsor
  • 1866 Dawley
  • 1868 Prees Green
  • 1869 Tunstall
  • 1872 W Bromwich
  • 1873 Stratford
  • 1874 Yarmouth
  • 1877 Colchester
  • 1878 Manchester
  • 1879 Manchester (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1863/268 (Maria); 1867/25 (portrait); 1881/435

PM Minutes 1880/5

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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