Loxdale family, of *Shrewsbury and Bilston

The Loxdale family's fortunes derived from coal-mining in the Bilston area of the Black Country. Thomas Loxdale (c.1720-1793) brought his family to Shrewsbury c. 1753, living in St. Chad's parish. They also had a home at Bradley Lodge, Bilston. Two sons survived childhood: Thomas (born 1757) and Joseph (born 1759).

The oldest daughter, Mary (born 19 May 1754; died 1785) married the Rev. Thomas Eden (born 1750 or early 1751; died 1792), who became vicar of Ilmington, Glos. Their son, William Henry Loxdale Eden (1783-1868; e.m. 1812) was born in Shrewsbury on 10 August 1783 and brought up by the staunch Methodist Edens of Broad Marston and Honeybourne. Under the influence of a guardian he enlisted as an officer in the Royal Dragoons. After his conversion in 1810 he entered the WM ministry in 1812 and 'laboured successfully for some years', though retaining strong sympathies towards the CofE. He was in the active work between 1812 and 1819 and between 1825 and 1827, when he resigned because of debt. In the latter year he married Harriet L. Payne of Gillingham, Dorset, sister of Frederick Payne. He died on 14 December 1868.

The second daughter, Ann (baptized 1 October 1755; died 5 December 1812) was converted under John Wesley's preaching and in spite of family misgivings. She became one of Wesley's correspondents and at one point was dissuaded by him from making an unsuitable marriage.Charles Atmore descrbed her as 'one of the excellent of the earth'. She came to know Thomas Coke in 1794, when he preached in the chapel in Bilston for which she had given the site. On 16 December 1811 she became Coke's second wife, but died twelve months later, on 5 December 1812, at York. Her nephew Edward Loxdale became a local preacher in the Bilston circuit.

The third daughter, Sarah, born on 13 December 1760, married the Rev. Thomas Hill (died 1832) in 1797. He became the incumbent of Crosby, near Liverpool and she became a prominent figure in Liverpool Methodism, dying on 4 December 1847.


'Miss Loxdale … appears to be a lady of an undaunted, as well as of a most sweet spirit and remarkably wise and prudent. But her principal qualification seems to be her piety, her love to God, with which her heart seems to be filled.'

Joseph Benson, quoted in James Macdonald, Memoirs of the Rev. Joseph Benson (1822) p.264

Mrs. Anne Coke to Thomas Clarke of Whitby:

                                                                              Octr. 1st 1812

Dear Sir,

I have not been unmindful of your request, though unable to fulfil it till the present. The first labours of my new Friend are dedicated to express my grateful feelings for your kind attention, by which I am much obliged. And I request leave to do the same (thro' you) to your dear Partner, for the token of her friendly regard, in the Box of Grapes; which were particularly useful to me. And the Box is become our travlling companion for that purpose.

Indeed, I received so many acts of kindness from the Whitby friends, that I was constrain'd to exclaim to my Husband as the Carriage drove us on, See my dear how these Christans love!...

My dear Husband is well, deeply engaged in hs laborious exercise, in which, however the Lord graciously blesses him…. We all unite in requesting an interest in your prayers. We shall be at Newcastle on Thyne on Saturday where we shall make some stay…

(MMS Archives, SOAS)

  • WM Magazine, 1870 pp.188-90
  • Frank Baker, 'John Wesley and Ann Loxdale' in WHS Proceedings 24 pp.107-13