Wilkinson, William Pearson (1856-1884)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Geo. Cripps

The subject of this memoir was born at Ardsley, in Yorkshire, January 31, 1856, and died at his residence in Tunbridge Wells, August 9, 1884, in the twenty-eighth year of his age, having just completed the fifth year of his ministry. Our dear brother was brought to God in revival services held for the benefit of the Sunday-school scholars, in our Belle Vue Chapel, Leeds, at the early age of sixteen years; and when he had attained his seventeenth year, he became assistant class-leader to Mr. E. Rawlings. Shortly afterwards he was made a local preacher, and continued to labour in that capacity until requested by the Rev. G. Lamb to go to the Silsden Station, and labour as a hired local preacher. 

He stayed in this station but five months, and then removed to our Sunderland College with a view of entering into the regular ministry. Here he stayed one year, was a very diligent student, storing his mind with useful knowledge, to qualify him to be an able minister of the New Testament. The Conference of 1879 appointed him to the Farringdon Station, in the Brinkworth District, where he had for his colleague and superintendent the Rev. J. H. Green. In this circuit he travelled four years, with acceptance and success, and was very highly esteemed, not only by his own people, but also by the members of other churches.

The Rev. J. H. Green says, ‘My late colleague, the Rev. W. P. Wilkinson, and I had four years together, and I very highly esteemed him. His abilities gave promise of a very successful career, and I had fondly hoped he would have taken a prominent position in our ministry. He was a very intelligent young man, a successful minister, and a winner of souls.’

At the Conference of 1883, he was appointed to the Tunbridge Wells Mission under the care of the Missionary Committee. Here he soon won the hearts of the people, and endeared himself to a large circle of friends by his many virtues. But the end came rather suddenly and unexpectedly; he had been suffering from an affection of the throat for several days, and obtained medical aid; but nothing serious was apprehended until erysipelas set in, and then inflammation followed, and on the 9th of August his spirit left the clay tenement to join the ranks of the glorified in the plains of immortality. 

His remains were followed to the grave by a large number of friends, including ministers and members of other churches in the town. His death was improved by the writer to a large congregation in our Camden-road Chapel, from this text of Scripture:—‘But the righteous hath hope in his death.’ Our dear brother has left a young widow and one child to mourn their irreparable loss, and to fight life’s battles. May they emulate his virtues, and follow him ‘who, through faith and patience, now inherits the promises.’


William was born on 31 January1856 at Ardsley, Yorkshire, to parents Samuel, a stone mason (1871) and Mary A Pearson.

He married Amelia Palmer (1860-1948) in the summer of 1883 in the Stourbridge Registration District, Worcestershire. Birth records identify one child.

  • Annie Amelia (1884-1885)

William died on 9 August 1884 at Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Amelia married Theophilus Bowdler Williams in 1892


  • Sunderland
  • 1879 Faringdon
  • 1883 Tunbridge Wells


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1885/50

PM Minutes 1885/10

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Amelia Williams (nee Palmer) was my great grandmother. If anyone has any information about her that they would be willing to share with me, I would be most grateful. I have been tracing my family history for many years, but information about her has largely eluded me. I have a very poor quality photo of my great grandfather Theophilus Bowdler Williams, but none of her. Thanks in advance from NZ.

    By Jane Smelt (28/04/2021)

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