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


Comments about this page

  • Richard Ward and wife Sarah (Beather) are my 3x Great Grandparents. They married at ‘Bethesda Primitive Methodist Chapel, Ball Lane, Maesbury, Nr Morda, Oswestry, Salop (now Shropshire) and photographs can be found on this PM history website. Sadly the photographs only show the chapel after years of neglect as the building has been completely abandoned and left to decay at the hands of the elements. It’s a great shame it hasn’t been acquired and given a new lease of life as it would make a beautiful home!

    Richard and Sarah’s daughter Helena Louisa married William Jabez Booth – and were my 2x Great Grandparents. Their son William Alfred Ward Booth married Beatrice Annie Sykes – thus being my Great Grandparents. They had five daughters – Kathleen Annie, Margaret Helena, Marie (pronounced marry), Beatrice Olive and my Grandmother Phyllis, the youngest of the girls. There was also a baby brother who sadly didn’t survive and his name was never shared. All five sisters carried the name Ward as a middle name – and was also passed down to my dad by his mum Phyllis.

    I am currently researching my family tree and am looking to trace the Ward and Beather lines further than Richard and Sarah. I am just in receipt of their marriage certificate and will update with further information and sources when confirmed. 🤞🏻

    By Samantha Davidson (07/04/2022)

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