Wright, William (1836-1918)
William was born on 5 June 1836 at Little Caughley, Shropshire to parents Richard Wright and Ann Huffa. Richard was a gamekeeper.
Both parents had died by the time William was 12 and he went to live with his uncle, a publican at Clive, Shropshire. By the time he was 18, William was the recognised leader of a gang of young fellows who delighted in drinking, Sabbath desecration and other forms of godlessness.
On 20 May 1854, William attended a camp meeting at Clive, intending to cause disruption with some friends. The president of the meeting was Rev J Huff. Contrary to his expectation he left the meeting converted. There followed a striking change in his life.
William’s name went on the plan, but on account of the opposition with which he met at home, he could only take a few appointments. This led eventually to William moving to lodgings with an official of the PM society.
Most of William’s ministry was spent in the West Midlands District and he, at different times, undertook the role of secretary at all it’s committee meetings. He attended three conferences ans was twice a General Committee delegate.
During his active ministry, William superintended the erection of 19 chapels, 5 new schools and had over 3000 professed conversions.
As a preacher he was always interesting and forceful, and often eloquent. He read many books, but was a greater reader of men and things. He made the best of his materials and things. He always looked on preaching as a solemn thing, a thing which ought to palpitate with the life of God.
William was seen at his best out of doors, speaking in the street, conducting a camp meeting or delivering an address as some district gathering or conference.
William married Caroline Heler (1841-1911) in the summer of 1864 at Audley, Staffordshire. Census returns identify eight children.
- Elizabeth Ann (b1865) – married name James
- Mary Jane (1870-1934) – married Thomas Clement Showell, a PM Minister
- John Thomas (1871-1912) – worker in rubber factory (1911)
- Margaret Eliza (b1874)
- William Huffa (b1875) – a customs and excise officer
- Alice Maud (b1877)
- Minnie May (b1879)
- Florence Caroline (b1881) – married William Turner, a PM Minister
William died on 26 September 1918.
- 1860 Hucknall
- 1861 Tunstall
- 1863 Bilston
- 1865 Birmingham
- 1867 Old Hill
- 1870 Nantwich
- 1873 Darlaston
- 1876 Witney
- 1877 Lichfield
- 1878 Brierley Hill
- 1879 Cradley Heath
- 1881 Ludlow
- 1883 Darlaston
- 1885 Birmingham
- 1889 Church Gresley
- 1893 Nantwich
- 1895 Leigh
- 1899 Scarborough II
- 1902 Scarborough (S)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1893/129; 1919/358
PM Minutes 1919/292
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers