Tonks, William Cox (1867-1930)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920

Early years

William was born in 1867 at Burntwood, Staffordshire to parents William Cox Tonks and Jane Heatley. His father was a coal miner. The family moved to the South Yorkshire coalfield at Mexborough, nr Doncaster circa 1878.

William joined the church at an early age whilst attending Sunday School at Chase Terrace, Lichfield.


William’s ministry was firstly a ministry of preaching, in which he was original, enthusiastic and practical. To him truth was the foundation of life, and by earnest preaching truth could be displayed and brought to bear on conduct. The ethical note in his pulpit rang clear.

A notable feature of his ministry was friendship, being remembered on all his circuits as a Christian gentleman and genuine friend.

There is no obituary for William in either the PM magazine or Conference Minutes.


William authored the following.

Victory in the Villages, 1907


William married Annie Mary Liversidge (1868-1928) in the summer of 1894 at Mexborough, Yorkshire. Census returns identify four children.

  • Laurence Henry (1895-1973) – a geologist
  • Gwendoline Irene (1898-1983)
  • Iverna (1901-1967)
  • Annetta (1902-1989)

William died on 26 May 1930 at Heswall, Cheshire.


  • 1890 Swindon I
  • 1894 Chipping Norton
  • 1897 Cross Keys
  • 1902 Wolverhampton
  • 1904 Wootton Bassett
  • 1910 Otley
  • 1914 Normanton
  • 1919 Bristol IV
  • 1922 Aylesbury
  • 1925 Biddulph
  • 1927 Liverpool III


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920/338

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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