Thoseby, William (1835-1905)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1893
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1906
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931

Early years

William was born on 20 July 1835 at Grassington, Yorkshire to parents James and Mary.  William was baptised on 2 August 1835 at Linton in Craven, Yorkshire. When William was very young the family moved to Mount Tabor, nr Halifax and when he was 8, the family moved to Keighley.

William was converted in June 1856 after attending a Sunday School Anniversary service at Morton Banks, nr Keighley. William immediately set himself to spiritual growth and mental improvement. Two years later he became a local preacher.

William supplied for Rev John Nassau at Keighley in 1859 from July to September. He then moved to Kings Lynn, Norfolk; the circuit from which he was pledged the following year.


William was involved in building chapel a chapel, schoolroom and minister’s house at Colne, Lancashire. It was there he met W. P. Hartley who laid a memorial stone and assisted with the fundraising. It was the day of the opening of that chapel that William lost his wife, Hannah, following the birth of a daughter.

In his last appointment, William was responsible for building the church and school at Knaresborough.

William attended conference twice and was a General Committee delegate in 1895.

He was thoroughly evangelical in his preaching; his sermons and speeches were full of pathos, interest and point, and were well thought out from a mind richly stored with biblical history and general knowledge. He sent the truth home to the hearts of the people with power and conviction.

As a public speaker he was frank, fearless and oftentimes eloquent.


William married Hannah Holmes (1837-1881) on 6 July 1864 at Queen St Chapel, Keighley, Yorkshire.  Rev John Harvey officiated. Census returns identify seven children.

  • Paulina Mary (1865-1942) – married William Boothman, a council school caretaker (1911)
  • Hannah Maria (b1868) – a dressmaker (1891); known as Annie; married Richard Eatough, a railway goods clerk
  • Alice Octavia Agnes (1869-1959) – a clerk; married William E Ashworth in 1930
  • Albert Edward Victor (1872-1947) – a secondary school teacher
  • Helena Gertrude (1874-1922) – married Richard Henry Horsfield, a stone quarry manager (1901)
  • Lily Rose (1875-1963) – married Hartley Wood, a draper
  • Hannah Louisa (1881-1968) – married Edwin Kitching, a joiner

William married Isabella Lonsdale (1854-1930) in the spring of 1882 at Colne, Lancashire. Census returns identify five children.

  • Ethel Isabella (1883-1911) – an assistant school teacher (1911)
  • Winifred Sophia (1885-1971) – an assistant school teacher (1911)
  • John Norman Lonsdale (1887-1956) – doctor
  • Daisy Grace (b1888) – married Frederic Vivian Preston, a civil servant
  • William Arthur (1890-1892)

William died on 15 January 1905 at Knaresborough, Yorkshire.


  • 1860 Lynn
  • 1862 Downton
  • 1864 Docking
  • 1866 Cambridge
  • 1868 Yarmouth
  • 1870 Ely
  • 1873 Downham
  • 1875 Leeds I
  • 1878 Dewsbury
  • 1879 Colne
  • 1882 Otley
  • 1885 Peterborough
  • 1888 Hull IV
  • 1891 Sowerby Bridge
  • 1894 Heckmondwike
  • 1895 Bingley
  • 1899 Knaresborough


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1882/628 (Hannah); 1893/257; 1906/654; 1931/61 (wife 2)

PM Minutes 1905/39

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers



Transcription of Obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1906. Added October 2018.

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