Tinsley, Ann (Mrs Longmire and Harland) (1809-1892)

Early years

She was born in Balderton, Nottinghamshire. Little is known of Ann’s life before she became a travelling preacher in 1828.


She began her ministry in Grimsby, where she worked for six months, before moving on to Lincoln in 1829. Then she moved back to the Hull circuit for two years (1830-32), which at that time covered much of the North of England.   Ann was sent to a lead mining area, near Alston in Cumberland, where a society was formed as part of the Barnard Castle branch, after missionaries from Hull visited Nenthead, Allendale and Weardale in 1823.

It seems that Ann’s health broke down under the strain of ministry. In 1830 the Travelling Preachers Sick Fund made two payments of £1 4s 0d (for 40 weekdays) and 12s 0d (for 60 weekdays) to cover her illness.

Here she met John Longmire of Allendale, a partner in a shop which sold mining clothes and equipment, and 10 years her senior. They married in 1831, but their happiness was to be short lived.

In 1832, as a widow with a young baby, she could not work as an itinerant minister who could be sent anywhere in the country. Instead she continued her ministry as a hired local preacher, within a more limited geographical area. Hired local preachers were often regarded by their own circuits as travelling preachers.

As Sister Longmire she was employed by the Scotter circuit, and was sent to the Epworth Branch for two months. The Scotter Circuit Accounts for 1837 give details of her salary: 14 weeks £2 5s 3d; allowance for her child 14 weeks at 3s per week £2 2s 0d, plus travelling expenses, chiefly ferries. A Circuit Plan for the spring of 1838 shows that she took 20 services in 13 weeks, with just two Sundays free.

She then moved to the Gainsborough Circuit, where she worked from 1838-1840. Her salary was £2 10s a quarter, with an additional £1 19s for her child. Travelling expenses and ferries came to 3s 6d, and a bill for meat of £1 4s 4d.  In August 1838, her bill at Mrs Walker’s for 53 meals was 19s 10d. Presumably this was where she was lodging.

One of Ann’s colleagues in the Scotter Circuit was William Lonsdale. He was a Primitive Methodist minister there in 1837, when he married Elizabeth Batey of Nenthead.  Sadly, his wife died in 1841, leaving two small children, and William, now in Whitby, had to resign from the itinerant ministry.  In 1842 he returned to Scotter as a hired local preacher.  Less than two years later, William and Ann were married, and he returned to the itinerant ministry.   Ann’s son John, now 12, went to live with a Primitive Methodist family in Fulbeck.

Over the next few years William and Ann served together in Gainsborough (1845-46), Doncaster (1846), Swinefleet (1847-9), Grimsby (1849-51), Pocklington (1851-53), Driffield (1853-55), Brigg (1855-57), Gainsborough (1857-59), Hornsea (1859-61), and Swinefleet (1861-63), where William died at the age of 56.

Ann returned to Gainsborough, where her son John Longmire had started his own business, and was now a local preacher.   The Primitive Methodist minister there was William Harland. Ann would have known him from her early days as a minister, when they both served in the Hull circuit.  In 1862 he was President of the Primitive Methodist Conference. His second wife, Jane, died in 1866, and in 1867 William and Ann were married in Gainsborough.

Her ministry continued with William in Barton on Humber (1868-72), when they returned to Gainsborough, as his health meant he had to retire from active ministry. He died of a stroke in 1880. By this time they had returned to Barton on Humber, where in 1891 she was living with her widowed son Walton, and died the following year.


Ann Tinsley was born in Balderton, Nottinghamshire circa 1808/11, the daughter of William Tinsley, a labourer.

She married John Longmire (1798-1832) on 26 August 1831 at St Cuthbert Parish Church, Allendale. He died on 24 February 1832 and was buried in Middleton churchyard.

They had one child, born 5 months after his father’s death:

  • John (1832-1871)

Ann Longmire married William Lonsdale (1807-1863) on 15 August 1844 at All Saints Parish Church in Nenthead, Gainsborough. He died on 19 May 1863 and was buried in Gainsborough cemetery.

They had two children:

  • Walton (1846-1894)
  • Elizabeth (1848-)

Ann Lonsdale married William Harland (1801-80) in 1867 in Gainsborough.

She died in 1892 in Barton on Humber, Lincolnshire.


  • Grimsby  1828
  • Lincoln    1828-30
  • Hull          1830-32


E Dorothy Graham, ‘Two Primitive Women Preachers’, Proceedings of the Wesleyan Historical Society, vol 56 (May 2007), pp 46-50  

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