Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday's Obituary: Rev Joseph Bentley, 1840-1903

Bentley Joseph head

Rev Joseph Bentley was my great grandfather. He was born near Barnsley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1840 and died in Wimbledon, Surrey, in 1903. Joseph was a Wesleyan Methodist minister for 36 years. During this time he served Methodist communities in 17 different places in England, from Durham to Cornwall. The constant upheaval of moving from place to place must have made life very difficult for his wife, Emma, and seven children.

Munden Emma Bentley Joseph children

Joseph's obituary appeared in the 1904 Minutes and Yearbook of the Methodist Conference:

JOSEPH BENTLEY: born in August, 1840. He was converted at the age of eighteen, entered the ministry in 1864, and died on August 7th 1903. His life was chiefly spent in the Circuits of rural Methodism, where he laboured with much energy and zeal. He was loyal to our discipline, and endeavoured to inculcate that spirit among the people to whom he ministered. His preaching was generally appreciated, and his genial disposition won him many friends. The end of his life was shadowed by failing eyesight, which created much depression, but his faith in God and his trust in the atonement of Christ were unfailing.


  1. Good to meet another UK genealogist; welcome, Caroline!

    I live in Yeovil (so not too far away!). My blog is GenWestUK; most of my ancestors came from Devon or Cornwall.

  2. Thank you, Ros. I have family links to the Yeovil area. Rev Alban Edgar Brunskill Davis,, whom I featured in my Welcome post, was Rector of Brympton d'Evercy. My grandfather told a story of the first time he ever saw a motor car. As a child, he was travelling back from Yeovil to Brympton on a cart when a car appeared. The horse took fright and the cart ended up in the ditch but my grandfather fell in love with cars on the spot.

  3. I wanted to let you know that I am giving you the "Ancestor Approved" Award for your blog. Please go to and pick up your badge.

  4. Hi I live in a House in Holsworthy North Devon England Built in 1880's as The Weslian Manse Rev joseph Bently was the first occupant.

    1. Thank you for letting me know, Rich. Can you tell me which street the house is in? I plan to visit Holsworthy in September 2017, when I have a speaking engagement in North Devon.

  5. Underlane Holsworthy EX22 6BL