Welford, William (1847-1913)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908

Early years

William was born on 4 December 1847 at Barnard Castle, Co Durham to parents Thomas Welford and Hannah Haigh. Thomas was a master tailor. His elder brother, John, was also a PM Minister.


After a brief term of service at Santa Isabel, William was imprisoned by the Spanish Government and ultimately banished from the island.

William served once as Secretary of the District Orphanage Committee and three times as Secretary to District Missionary Committees.

William was musical by nature, and gave close and constant attention to this important part of divine worship. He got the best out of his choirs, and good choral and congregational singing contributed to the spiritual efficiency of his services.

As a preacher, William was clear and practical; he was evangelistic and outside the pulpit he often led the way in Temperance and other social reforms. Along with John Hallam, William was one of the first Passive Resisters in the London Boroughs, being brought before the Islington magistrates. Shortly after, William was elected President of the Islington Free Church Council.

Shortly after arriving at Hull, doctors pronounced that William was suffering from ‘heart disease’ and he had to immediately retire from circuit work. William settled at West Kirby on the Wirral.


William married Sarah Berry (1847-1928) in the summer of 1874 at Barnard Castle, Co Durham. Census returns identify seven of eight children.

  • Horace Berry (1875-1932) – a chemist; emigrated to Australia
  • Edgar Hurbert (1877-1960) – emigrated to Australia
  • Emma Greta (1880-1982) – married Aaron Smith, a PM Minister
  • Adelina Beatrice (1885-1962 – a school teacher
  • Hilda Thermutis (1886-1973) – a shorthand typist (1911); married Noah Nightingale
  • William (b1890)
  • Douglas (b1891)

William died on 18 January 1913 at West Kirby, Cheshire.


  • Sunderland
  • 1870 Whitby
  • 1873 Guisborough
  • 1875 N Sheilds
  • 1877 Durham
  • 1880 Thornley
  • 1885 St Isabell
  • 1886 G.M.C
  • 1887 Liverpool I
  • 1890 Douglas
  • 1893 Shipley
  • 1897 Blackpool
  • 1903 Holloway
  • 1906 Poplar
  • 1910 Hull VI
  • 1911 Birkenhead (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908/87; 1914/327

PM Minutes 1913/32

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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