Whitby, William (1835-1890)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1882
Carline Whitby aged 61
Hilary Pye
Carline Whitby aged 74
Hilary Pye
Cover of book written by William Whitby in 1864
Hilary Pye
Title page of American Slavery book
Hilary Pye
Front page of a 24 page sermon from 1862 written following the death of Albert, Prince Consort
Hilary Pye

Early years

William was born on 6 March 1835 at Manningtree, Essex to parents Samuel and Clara. Samuel was a coal dealer.

Prior to joining the ministry, William worked in a lawyers office.


William’s obituary records that his circuit work was always a pleasure to him and his religion was deep-rooted in his nature.

In his short stay in the Bradford & Halifax district, William was made chairman of the District Meeting and Secretary of the Missionary Committee.

He was a very faithful and often eloquent preacher, his earnestness and devoutness always winning attention. To him the smallest service was important, and he always treated it as such.

His great aim was to give his family a good education – seeing that there were 15 of them this was no light task. (Note: census returns only identify 13 of the children.)


William married Carline Mary Barrett (1840-1926) in the spring of 1858 in London. Census returns identify 13 children.

  • William Samuel (1859-1930) – salesman
  • Stafford Beaston (1860-1928) – a hosiery manufacturer (1911)
  • Carline Charlotte (1862-1944) – married Wiliam James Scott, a commercial traveller
  • Spencer James (b1864) – a printer
  • Ada Annie (1866-1912) – married henry Thomas Addinall, a tailor
  • Ebenezer (1867-1892) – a stationer (1891)
  • Kate Eva (b1868)
  • Florence Hettie (1871-1947) – married John Blackburn Toothill, a works chemist (1891)
  • Emily Gertrude (1872-1939) – married Charles Proudlock Brewster, a driver (1911)
  • Arthur Ernest (1873-1954) – a tailor
  • Harold Ethlebert (1874-1955) – a clerk
  • Maud Mabel (1879-1928) – married James Allen, a machine shop foreman (1911)
  • Walter Herbert (1881-1962) – a clerk (1911)

William died on 26 May 1890 at Douglas, Isle of Man.


  • 1854 Pembroke
  • 1856 London ll
  • 1858 Pocklington
  • 1860 Hull l
  • 1862 Hull ll
  • 1865 Grimsby
  • 1866 Scotter
  • 1868 Winterton
  • 1872 Retford
  • 1875 Sheffield l
  • 1877 Leicester ll
  • 1880 Grantham
  • 1883 Hull ll
  • 1886 Halifax l
  • 1889 Douglas


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1882 (Portrait); 1892/49

PM Minutes 1890.193

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • It is of note that Rev, William Whitby was the minister involved in the 1876 Dore graveyard controversy, when the Anglican vicar refused to bury a baby who had died from convulsions because there had been no Anglican baptism, only a PM one. Interment was allowed and Rev Whitby was to read the PM service from the nearby turnpike road standing on a chair opposite the grave, with the family effecting the burial themselves.
    The grave was not ready on time so he read the service in the PM chapel, but on arriving at the churchyard another priest was present who insisted on taking the body.
    So the second priest took the body into the church, read (a second) the Anglican burial service, and interred the body.
    This case gained national publicity and prompted the 1880 Morgan Burial Amendment act.

    By David Leese (05/07/2022)
  • I am the Great granddaughter of William & Carline Whitby . Mother of David Pye . My mother was Ada Florence Addinall. My Grandmother was Ada . William wrote a book on American Slavery & had some sermons published. I have the book & also sermons .. one on the death of Prince Albert …the time he was in Hull.. I have photos of Carline when she was 61 & 71 .. would put photos on of book etc but don’t know how to. !!

    By hilary pye (18/11/2021)
  • Hi there Suzanne. We’re distant cousins. I’m the great-great grandson of the Reverend Whitby, via his daughter Ada and my grandmother Florence in turn. Nice to (virtually) meet you! Dave

    By David Pye (15/11/2021)
  • William’s mother was Charlotte. She appears with her son and husband on the 1841 census. Clara was William’s step-mother, whom his father married two years after his first wife’s death. William’s wife Carline was born in 1838 (not 1840).

    (I am a great-great granddaughter of Revd. William Whitby.)

    By Suzanne Mountain (01/11/2015)

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