Walton, William Henry (1833-1910)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1894

Early years

William was born on 31 March 1833 at Calverley, Yorkshire to parents Samuel Walton and Ann Johnson. He was baptised on 2 May 1833 at Pudsey New Chapel (Independent). His parents were Congregationalists.

In 1851, William was working as a woollen weaver.

William was converted at the age of 14 through the Wesleyans. He remained a Wesleyan member until the Reform Movement caused him to move to the Primitive Methodists. In 1855, William went on the plan. In 1858, he became a hired local preacher at Burnley, Lancashire.


William offered for colonial work and left for Melbourne in July 1860 along with E C Pritchard, W J Dean and E Greenwood.

For many years William travelled on average 100 miles weekly, preaching every night, visiting families in the ‘bush’ where at times the roads seemed impassable. He was responsible for erecting 13 churches, 3 parsonages and one schoolroom by 1894. He had a horse called Clowes, which he sold to pay for the first instalment on some land at Penguin for a chapel.

William was the President of the Australian Assembly in 1881. He was made an Honorary Life Governor of Melbourne Hospital.

He was a plain, practical, earnest Methodist minister. Perhaps he excelled most in preaching or in talking to children. His love of anecdote, and he was full of them, fitted him to interest and instruct the young.

William died in 1910 in Australia.


  • 1859 Hastings
  • 1860 Benalia (Australia)
  • 1863 Longford
  • 1867 West Coast
  • 1869 Heidleburg
  • 1872 Sale
  • 1874 Geelong
  • 1876 Campbellfield
  • 1879 Melbourne II
  • 1881 Melbourne IV
  • 1884 Sale
  • 1886 W Melbourne
  • 1887 Launceston
  • 1890 Melbourne VIII
  • 1892 Penguin
  • 1896 Penguin (S)
  • 1904 disappears

Note: The Australian Methodist Churches came together in 1902. Thereafter the stations and obituaries of previously Primitive Methodist Ministers were not recorded in Conference Minutes.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1894/163

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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