Swales, William (1874-1945)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927

Early years

William was born in 1874 at West Scrafton, Yorkshire, to parents Jonas and Elizabeth. Jonas was a farmer of 70 acres at the time of the 1881 census.

Quite early in his teens, William gave evidence that the ministry was his destined vocation. In his own area his work was noted as a local preacher and evangelist. He became a hired local preacher at Middleton-in-Teesdale, where his evangelistic work was of quite extraordinary quality.


William served his districts as Sunday School Secretary, Building Committee Secretary, Missionary Secretary, Council secretary and Conference Arrangements secretary. He spent twenty-two years of his ministry in Hull.

His obituary records that William had great gifts as a preacher and lecturer, visiting churches in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire for more than thirty years in succession. Circuits flourished under his ministry; new causes were started, old debts were cleared off, and weak churches were revived and strengthened. He had a great passion for souls and always preached for a verdict.


William married Isabella Paley (1874-1941) in the summer of 1903 at Aysgarth, Yorkshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • William Ewart (1905-1976) – an accountant
  • Annice (1907-1981)

William died on 4 July 1945 at Sale, Cheshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1899 Beverley
  • 1903 Hull II
  • 1906 Pudsey
  • 1910 Hull IV
  • 1921 London M SE
  • 1924 Hull II
  • 1933 Stretford
  • 1937 Orell
  • 1942 Ashton on Mersey (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920/386; 1927/520

Methodist Minutes 1945/142

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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