Toulson, Joseph (1822-1890)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1871
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1889

Early years

Joseph was born on 17 September 1822 at Alverthorpe, nr Wakefield,Yorkshire. His mother and brothers were Wesleyan Methodists. Joseph was converted on 27 January 1839 under the ministry of Joseph Featherstone. He immediately set himself to self-improvement because he had no schooling. Two years later he became a local preacher.


His obituary records that he had a splendid physique, a powerful voice, a retentive memory, a fluent utterance, and an intimate acquaintance with the ‘Book of Books’. He possessed indomitable perseverance and an enormous capacity for work.

Joseph was associated with the building of prominent London chapels at Grayshott Rd, Caledonain Rd, Dartmouth Park and Woodberry. This was not all his own work; he possessed the happy facility of inciting others to work.

Joseph is credited with having an immense impact of the growth of the Primitive Methodist Church in London. He was Secretary of the District Committee, Secretary of the Building Committee and Treasurer of the Metropolitan Chapel Building Fund.

Joseph was President of Conference in 1889 and died towards the end of his presidential year. At the time of his death he had just completed his term as Book Steward and had completed all the accounts for financial audit.


Joseph married Mary Ann Sanderson (1829-1912) in the summer of 1850. Census returns identify two children.

  • Mary Hannah (1851-1936) – married Charles Lander, a bacon curer
  • Ann Rebecca (1854-1939) – married Henry Mills, a refreshment contractor

Joseph died on 5 April 1890 whilst walking to Liverpool Street Station to catch a train to take a service in Norfolk. He was buried at St Pancras and Islington Cemetery.


  • 1843 Tadcaster
  • 1844 Hull
  • 1845 Hull West
  • 1846 Patrington
  • 1849 Doncaster
  • 1850 Epworth
  • 1852 Gainsborough
  • 1853 London lll
  • 1855 Canterbury
  • 1858 Reading
  • 1861 High Wycombe
  • 1865 Canterbury
  • 1868 London ll
  • 1873 London Vll
  • 1878 London l
  • 1879 London ll
  • 1882 Caledonian Road
  • 1885 Book Steward


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1871 (portrait);1889/577; 1890/316; 1891/305; 1891/423; 1912/657 (Mary Ann)

PM Minutes 1890/6

The Primitive Methodist, 1889, p392

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p388

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers



Comments about this page

  • This page was modified on 29 October 2017 to add a transcription of a sketch published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904.

    By Geoff Dickinson (29/10/2017)

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