I initially warmed to the Reverend William when I discovered he’d been baptised at Mappleton Church, a mile or so north of his birthplace in Cowden. My parents had a caravan (of sorts) on the Mill Field at Mappleton and, when on holiday there, I walked past the church several times a day on the way to and from the beach. It seems neat that he should end his days in Filey, as I am likely to do.
I also learned that his grandfather had been one of William CLOWES’ first converts in my hometown, Hull in the 1820s. I attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Stoneferry as a child and, as a young man, went up to Mow Cop one wild, windy night after I learned of the early Ranters’ Meetings there.
I was surprised to find William had married three times – and taken aback when I looked for him on FamilySearch Tree and saw him hitched to a fourth woman, Elizabeth Ann ALSTON.
William’s birth family seemed to be all present and correct and at the time of the 1901 census, he was living only eight miles away from Elizabeth Ann and the cotton spinning William Moore.
“Our” William was in Wigan, mourning the death of his first wife Annie Elizabeth COWAN about six months earlier. The other William and Elizabeth Ann were childless in Chorley.
Here is a newspaper report of the wedding of William and Annie Elizabeth just five years earlier.
Ten years later the Reverend was staying with his younger brother, James, in Hull. With him were second wife Margaret FISHER and their surviving child, William Henry, aged three. Margaret died about 18 months later, in West Derby – where William married Catherine NICHOLSON in the second quarter of 1916. They moved to Filey in 1919 and each died aged 78, William in 1944 and Catherine in 1955. Their last home, “Hilston”, was in Belle Vue Crescent.
There are photographs of William and Catherine, and more information, here.