Watts, George (1815-1898)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1863
Copy provided by Steven Carter

Early years

George as born on 2 January 1815 at Leckford, Hampshire to parents Charles and Martha. He was baptised on 29 January 1815 at Leckford. George was converted through the PM society in his own village at the age of 18 and soon began to work as a local preacher. Many services were taken outdoors and in the face of much opposition.


After the difficulties that John Ride and Edward Bishop experienced at Winchester in 1834, a small society was finally formed in June 1837 through the preaching of George Watts. Unfortunately this was unable to find a permanent place for worship and soon discontinued.

George arrived in Australia on 27 November 1851. There, in Victoria, he was the second missionary working alongside John Ride.

George was District Secretary for 5years, and also served as Superintendent of Missions and Book Steward.

His obituary records that he was firm in principle, shrewd in judgement, and true to his conviction; fearless in what he believed to be right, somewhat brusque in manner, but honest and straightforward in conduct and unwavering in his friendships.


George married Sarah West (1818-1899) in 1842. Records identify two children.

  • Mary Emma (1843-1898) – married John Elvins
  • Robert West (1848-1929)

Note: His obituary records that he arrived in Australia with his wife and three infant children.

George died on 15 August 1898 at Geelong, Victoria, Australia.


  • 1837 Micheldever
  • 1838 Stafford
  • 1840 Wallingford
  • 1842 Whitney
  • 1845 Tredegar
  • 1847 Pillowell
  • 1850 Chippenham
  • 1851 Melbourne – Australia
  • 1853 Geelong
  • 1858 Bendigo
  • 1861 Campbellfield
  • 1863 Castlemaine
  • 1866 Kilmore
  • 1870 Book Steward
  • 1874 Kyneton (S)
  • 1875 Geelong


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1863 (portrait); 1899/466

PM Minutes 1899/25

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p349, p533

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p438

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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