Wilson, Neil (1889-1981)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

NEIL WILSON: born in America on 18th February 1889, and spent most of his childhood and youth in Glasgow, until he entered Hartley College in 1914. Ordained in 1920 in Great Western Street Church, Manchester, he later that same year married Dora Mary Crabtree. He served in the following circuits: Oakham, Castleford, Swaffham, Aylsham, Burnbank (Hamilton), Glasgow (Parkhead and Burnbank), Alston, Sowerby Bridge (Sowerby New Road), and Leek (Bethesda), where he retired at the age of seventy. 

In his retirement he continued as Free Church Hospital Chaplain for a further eleven years, during which time he also conducted Sunday services in the Chester and Stoke District. A preacher of conviction, he always spoke with a note of authority, and as an assiduous visitor he was well-liked wherever he went. What he lacked in physical stature he more than made-up for with an energetic personality which was never satisfied with second best, either in himself or in others. However, shortage of inches never prevented him from being a keen sportsman, playing soccer until he was forty-five and tennis until he was sixty-seven. 

His wife died in 1976 and in May 1980 he came to live with his daughter in Canterbury and suffered a stroke later in the year. Though  increasingly confined to his bed, he never lost his vigorous sense of humour, nor his interest in life, especially in sport. He was ready to die and his wish was granted on the 28th February 1981 in the ninety-third year of his age and in the sixty-fifth year of his ministry.


Neil was born on 18 February 1889 in America, to parents Neil, a coal miner (1901), and Jessie.

He married Dora Mary Crabtree (1898-1976) in 1920. Birth Records identify three children.

  • Jean (1925-1979) – married Trevor B Dean in 1949
  • Neil (b1926)
  • Ian (b1929)

Neil died on 28 February 1981 at Canterbury, Kent.


  • Hartley
  • 1916 Supply
  • 1920 Oakham
  • 1922 Castleford
  • 1925 Swaffham
  • 1926 Aylsham
  • 1935 Glasgow (Hamilton)
  • 1936 Glasgow (Parkhead)
  • 1939 Alston
  • 1945 Soweby Bridge
  • 1949 Leek
  • 1958 Leek (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1981/94

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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