Woodall, Thomas (1839-1931)
Thomas was born on 29 March 1839 at Tipton, Staffordshire, to parents Joseph and Elizabeth. Joseph was a chain maker. The family moved to Dudley when Thomas was very young. When aged about ten, the family moved to Lydbrook, Gloucestershire.
Still a boy, Thomas went to work in the iron works at Lydbrook. As a result of attending prayer-meetings in the engine-house, led by a Primitive Methodist called Hunt, Thomas was converted. Following the death of his father, Thomas returned to Dudley and joined the Old George Street Society. He became a Sunday school teacher. Thomas started to cultivate his mind and become a great reader. He joined a class led by Rev Noah Stafford learning both English Grammar and the Holy Scriptures. Thomas became a local preacher and after two years was recommended for the ministry.
The 1861 census shows Thomas working as a Pig Iron Puddler in Dudley.
Thomas obituary records that his early days of ministry coloured and shaped the whole of his subsequent ministry. It was then he mastered the art of ‘legology’, necessary equipment for those wide agricultural circuits. He attained the power to undertake long journeys without fatigue, and also formed habits of punctuality and faithfulness in fulfilling his appointments, whatever the weather.
Thomas was active in chapel building and extension schemes. New chapels were erected at Helhoughton, Lyderstone and Runcton under his guidance and a school-room at Sherringham.
As a preacher he was plain, practical, methodical and Scriptural. He made no attempt at show or adornment. His great desire was to point men to Christ, that they may be saved.
Thomas married Ann Walters (1840-1911) in the summer of 1868 at Walsall, Staffordshire. Census returns identify six children.
- Annie (1870-1899)
- Walter (1872-1913) – an outfitter’s manager (1911)
- Augusta (1874-1951) – married John Fincham, a house decorator
- Chrystabel (1876-1946) – married Thomas Gibbs, a professional singer
- Thomas (b abt 1878) – a postmaster (1932)
- James (b1882) – a printer compositor (1911)
Thomas died on 29 January 1932 at Brentford, Middlesex.
- 1864 Colchester
- 1865 Bury St Edmunds
- 1867 Yarmouth
- 1868 Hadleigh
- 1869 Wisbech
- 1872 Swaffham
- 1874 Ely
- 1877 Downham
- 1879 Swaffham
- 1883 Wangford
- 1886 Docking
- 1891 Lowestoft
- 1892 Holt & C
- 1897 Watton
- 1901 Wells next Sea
- 1903 Lynn (Sup)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1900/563; 1911/494 (Ann)
PM Minutes 1932/339
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers