Worsnop, Abraham (1807-1886)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1855
Copy provided by Steven Carter. Digital copy available online in Google/More/Books.

Early years

Abraham was born at Low Moor, near Bradford, on January 4th 1807. It is thought that he came from a Wesleyan background. His parents were James Worsnop (1783-1856), a blacksmith, and Fanny Clayton (b 1784).


Abraham was appointed to a mission in Bottesford from Nottingham in 1834/5. This resulted in the formation of the Bottesford Circuit in 1836. During this period, Abraham led a further mission to Grantham, famous for putting John Wedgwood into jail for preaching in the open air. Abraham and colleagues led open air services for 21 consecutive weeks before a suitable indoor location for worship could be secured. The work prospered and a chapel was built and opened on 28 May 1837.

During the period 1856 to 1859, Abraham was Superintendent at Scotter. Conference records show membership increased by circa 30% during this period.

In Kendall, Abraham is described as a deeply pious, hardworking, successful minister, who, during his ministry of 43 years, is said to have had an aggregate increase in his stations of 23,000 members.


Abraham wrote the following books.

  • Entire Sanctification distinct from Justification, and attainable before death, 1859
  • The Footsteps of Jesus, with questions for young people, 1862


Abraham married Elizabeth Wilson (known as Betsey) on 5 November 1835 at Doddington, Lincs. She was born at Witcham, nr Ely, on February 20 1808. She died in 1845 at the time of the birth of her fourth child. Abraham and Betsey had four children.

  • James (1838-1894) – a stationer
  • Rebecca (1840-1876) – married George Johnson, a market superintendent
  • Matthew Wilson (1842- 1878) – a grocer and draper
  • William (1845-1916) – a joiner

Abraham married Sarah Blackburn on 14 July 1847 in Derby. She was born at Horbling, Lincs on Jan 21 1805, and died on Nov 7 1876.

Abraham died on July 28th 1886 in Derby


  • 1831 Bradford (6 mnths)
  • 1831 Leeds (6 mnths)
  • 1833 Nottingham
  • 1836 Bottesford
  • 1837 Loughborough
  • 1839 Sheffield
  • 1841 Ilkeston
  • 1842 Nottingham
  • 1844 Winster
  • 1845 Derby
  • 1847 Barnsley
  • 1849 Pontefract
  • 1851 Malton
  • 1852 Hull West
  • 1853 Hull l
  • 1854 Louth
  • 1856 Scotter
  • 1859 Halifax
  • 1862 Pickering
  • 1864 Huddersfield
  • 1866 Barnsley
  • 1869 Nottingham l
  • 1871 Nottingham ll
  • 1874 Derby l (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1886/753; 1855/129; 1846/127; 1877/694

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p378, p504

PM Minutes 1887/4

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 1, p262

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




Comments about this page

  • Abraham’s brother, John Wesley Worsnop was my 3x g grandfather. You can see a bit more about my side of the family on ancestry.co.uk under the Worsnop Tree.  Thank you for putting up the lovely photo.

    By becky lisle (19/05/2015)
  • I found this summary most fascinating as Abraham Worsnop is My GGGreat grandfather. I have found a little about him preaching in lincolnshire, his 2 books and the church/school built in Derby. Can anyone point me to where I might find out more about Abraham

    By Adrian Day (17/01/2013)