Townend family

Thomas Townend (1801-1847), born in Cononley, near Skipton, Yorks., entered the WM ministry in the Ashton Circuit in 1825, but resigned the following year. He joined the Protestant Methodists, entered the WMA ministry in 1836 and wasPresident of its Annual Assembly in 1842. He died on 5 September 1847.

His brother Joseph Townend' (1806-1888) was born at Cononley on 14 October 1806. When he was 3 the family moved to Grassington, then to Linton, before settling in Burnley, where they worshipped at Keighley Green WM chapel. He began work in a cotton mill at the age of 7. For a time he lived in Rawtenstall, but after returning to Burnley he was converted, became a local preacher and offered for the ministry. . But soon afterwards he joined the Protestant Methodists, became a hired local preacher in 1835 and entered the WMA ministry in 1836. In 1851 he was sent to Australia to establish a mission, initially in Melbourne and then in Queensland. He experienced exceptionally difficulties in connection with the gold rush and found progress dishearteningly slow. He returned home in 1866 and died on 22 November 1888.

In the next generationJoseph's son, Thomas Whitaker Townend (1834-1908; e.m. 1855), was born on 25 April 1834 at Longholme, Rawtenstall. He served in the UMFC itinerancy for fifty years and was President of the Conference in 1879. He retired in 1905 and died in Sheffield on 2 April 1908.

  • Autobiography of Joseph Townend; with reminiscences of the missionary labours in Australia (1854; 2nd edn., 1869)
  • George Eayrs, Our Founders and their Story (London, n.d.)