Kendall, Holliday Bickerstaffe
1844-1919; e.m. 1868

PM minister and connexional historian, born at Wakefield on 2 August 1844. He was the son of Charles Kendall who served in the PM ministry. He began to preach when a boy and entered the ministry at 19, serving in north-eastern circuits. He obtained an external degree at Durham and, following a breakdown in the mid-1880s, taught at a private theological college near Leeds. As Connexional Editor from 1892 to 1901 he renamed the PM monthly and quarterly periodicals The Aldersgate and the Holborn Review respectively. His History of the PM Connexion (1889) was revised and enlarged in 1902 and substantially rewritten in 1919 as the History of the PM Church. His magnum opus, the two-volume illustrated Origin and History of the PM Church (1906) appeared first in monthly parts. The largest work ever produced by the PM Book Room, it immediately became the authoritative account of PM history, especially for the earlier decades of the movement. His wife gave practical support to the work of Thomas Jackson's Whitechapel Mission. He died in March 1919.


'[He] began his ministry in Newcastle-on-Tyne, when a mere youth, and soon became known in the northern district as a preacher of singular freshness and charm. Quiet, meditative, mystical in the best sense, … from many fields he poured out rich and varied treasure, as one who has gathered gems of thought now from classical lore and now from the last issue of the Spectator… In 1892 he became Connexional Editor, and for the next nine years the magazines bore evidence of his culture and ability.'

Joseph Ritson, The Romance of Primitive Methodism (1909) pp.256-7

'It was a great gain to the Women's Own [at Whitechapel] when Mrs. Holiday Bickerstaffe Kendall ... became the first President of the meeting. Mrs. Kendall is a devout and delicate lady of considerable culture. Though at that time she was without experience of public work, her fine gifts were soon apparent, and in a little while she had won great affection. In her own household she was wont to reply to questions with "Yes, love" or "No, love". Involuntarily, she transferred this habit to Whitechapel. Haggard faces beamed and became almost beautiful again when Mrs. Kendall said, "Yes, love." The situation was, however, embarrassing in its humour, when, assisting at a dinner for homeless men, Mrs. Kendall replied to the query of one of them with "Yes, love." The winks which the men exchanged marked the comicality of the incident. What testimonies the women offered to Mrs. Kendall's influence! One of them whispered to her: "Since I came here, everything has been different. I can do my work at home ever so much better, it does not seem so hard, and I look forward with joy to the Monday afternoon meeting."

'Such was the attachment of one dear old soul to Mrs. Kendall, that she extracted a promise that, when her end came, the good lady would be with her.'

William Potter, Thomas Jackson of Whitechapel(1929) pp.82-3

  • PM Magazine, 1900 pp.723-4
  • Joseph Ritson, The Romance of Primitive Methodism (1909) pp.141-2, 254-57
  • A.S. Peake, 'In Memoriam: H.B. Kendall and J.D. Thompson', in Holborn Review, 1919, pp.374-84
  • G.E. Milburn, 'H.B. Kendall's Origin and History of the Primitive Methodist Church' in WHS Proceedings, 50 pp.108-12
  • Maria Borrill, "The Kendall Family from Ashby, Lincolnshire:

a family history" (Peterborough, 2009)