Younger, William (1869-1956)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1924
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1932

Early years

William was born on 3 October 1869 at Morpeth, Northumberland, to parents William and Isabella. William, senior, was a coal miner.

William was brought up at Shankhouse, a large Northumberland colliery village and educated in the village school.

As a youth of sixteen, William was drawn to the teaching profession. Two years later he devoted himself to the mining industry and attended science classes with a view to qualifying for the position of manager. However, he yielded to the repeated call of the Blyth circuit and entered Hartley College to prepare for ministry. The Blyth circuit paid the expenses for his two-year course at Hartley College.


During his seven years in Middlesbrough a most remarkable revival broke out and continued for many years afterwards. Together with his colleague, the Rev Robert Hind, William witnessed hundreds of conversions. The Gilkes Street Church was the centre of the saving work.

William was known primarily as a preacher. Nature was generous in giving him a vigorous frame, a commanding presence, a glorious voice, an active mind and a glowing heart. The definition of preaching as ‘Truth through personality’ found an excellent illustration in him. He was an evangelical preacher because he had a living and growing experience of the evangel.

William Younger was President of the PM Conference in 1932 and was a signatory to the Act of Union. At Union he became Chairman of the Hull Synod and held the office for seven years. He was elected president of the Methodist Conference in 1934.

Much in demand as a preacher and lecturer, William widely served the Free Churches of Britain, and preached in most European countries, in the USA, and in Canada.

The Temperance Movement had few abler supporters.


William authored the following.

International value of Christian ethics, 1924 – Hartley lecture


William married Agnes Ruth Dixon (1864-1957) in the summer of 1898 at Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Vernon (1899-1979) – a solicitor
  • Percy (1900-1984) – a chartered accountant

William died on 16 February 1956 at Broadstairs, Kent.


  • Hartley
  • 1894 Middlesbrough
  • 1901 Bishop Auckland
  • 1906 Harrogate
  • 1917 Newcastle I
  • 1930 Hull VIII
  • 1939 Harrow (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918/27; 1920/827; 1924/298; 1924/391; 1932/329; 1932/502

Methodist Minutes 1956/193

R Newman Wycherley, The Pageantry of Methodist Union, 1932, p340

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p292

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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