Wilshaw, Thomas (1841-1921)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1898
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921

Early years

Thomas was born on 15 June 1841 at Ingleton, Yorkshire, to parents William Wilshaw and Margaret Moore. In 1861, William was working as an engineer in a cotton factory at Clayton-le Moors, Lancashire. Thomas also worked in the cotton industry before entering the ministry.

William and Margaret attended Church of England service until they moved to Lancaster when Thomas was aged about seven. The children were sent to Bulk Street Sunday School where the Primitive Methodists worshiped. William and Margaret became Primitive Methodists.

Thomas was converted while living in Settle. He was recommended for the ministry in 1861 after being a local preacher for only 12 months.


In Lancaster in 1874, Thomas was summonsed by Mr Pye, the superintendent of the police, for causing an obstruction by preaching on the town hall steps. Magistrates dismissed the case. Costs for the defense were provided by Mr James Williamson, jnr, (later Lord Ashton).

As a preacher, Thomas was more practical than rhetorical; his best work being done in regular circuit ministry, rather than in brilliant special efforts on great occasions.


Thomas married Mary Heywood (1837-1922) in 1867 at Blackburn, Lancashire.

  • Robert Heywood (1873-1959) – a medical officer of health (1911) and local preacher

Thomas died on 27 February 1921 at Ormskirk, Lancashire.


  • 1862 Rochdale
  • 1864 Bradwell
  • 1865 St Helens
  • 1867 Stalybridge
  • 1870 Leigh
  • 1873 Lancaster
  • 1876 Oldham II
  • 1879 St Helens
  • 1882 Foxhill Bank
  • 1884 Leeds I
  • 1887 Pontefract
  • 1889 Stalybridge
  • 1893 Bacup
  • 1894 Bolton IV
  • 1897 Lancaster
  • 1900 Preston
  • 1903 Ossett
  • 1904 Stalybridge
  • 1907 Littleborough
  • 1908 Southport (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1898/163; 1921/733

PM Minutes 1921/386

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Thomas was my great great uncle. He began his Ministry on the Isle of Man as a trainee.

    By Rodney Wilshaw (03/02/2014)

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