Ward, Richard (1805-1880)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.39a

Richard was born on 31 October 1805 at Farndale, Yorkshire.


Petty records that Richard was sent to mission the notorious town of Bishop’s Castle, about twenty miles south west of Shrewsbury. On 10 August 1828, Richard and a local preacher, Thomas Evans, entered the town to find a place to preach. They were given permission to preach in the market hall. When Richard started his sermon several stones were thrown. However a great fighter was in the congregation, who wished to hear the sermon. He maintained order, with some suitable threats to the troublemakers. Several people, including the pugilist, were converted. However as the preachers left the town, they were again stoned and had to take refuge in a pasture, going over the hedge. Richard returned the following week, and again two weeks later. His efforts were rewarded as a society formed. Despite continuing persecutions, the work developed and Bishops Castle became the head of a circuit in 1832 with two travelling preachers and 135 members.

Both Petty and Kendall record that Richard was very influential in developing the work in Lichfield.


Richard married Sarah Beather (1819-1903) on 10 July 1841 at Oswestry, Shropshire. They had three children identified in census returns.

  • Helena Louisa (1851-1890) – married William Jabez Booth, superintendent of Prudential Assurance agents
  • Henrietta Tryphena (1853-1926) – a nurse and later a missioner for temperance society
  • Lavinia Bithiah (1857-1948) – a shop assistant (newsagents)

In retirement in Lichfield, Richard became a grocer.

Richard died in December 1880 at Lichfield.


  • 1825 S Shields
  • 1826 Brompton (6 mths)
  • 1826 Middleham (6 mths)
  • 1827 Ripon (6 mths)
  • 1827 Hexham (6 mths)
  • 1828 Shrewsbury
  • 1830 Presteign
  • 1832 Haverfordwest
  • 1833 Kidderminster
  • 1834 Birmingham
  • 1836 Lichfield
  • 1839 Oswestry
  • 1842 Dudley
  • 1843 Longton
  • 1845 Wrockwardinewood
  • 1846 Stafford
  • 1848 Leek
  • 1850 Kidderminster
  • 1852 Macclesfield
  • 1853 Dudley (S)
  • 1854 Lichfield


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1840/431; 1850/449; 1881/310; 1904/747 (wife)

PM Minutes 1881/5

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p254, p493

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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