Walmsley brothers

William Walmsley (1843-1914) was born at Newport, East Riding and began his working life as an agricultural labourer, and then as a colliery horseman. Moving to Leeds in the early 1870s, he joined Rehoboth PM chapel, Park Lane under the influence of George Parkin. In partnership with his brother Benjamin he developed large estates in Featherstone, Harrogate, Leeds and Scarborough. He died on 13 January 1914.

Benjamin Walmsley (1845-1910) was born in Newport, moved to Scarborough and then Normanton, and in 1872 to Leeds (probably from Manchester) where he became a PM local preacher. He died on 14 December 1910. He was closely involved in establishing both Belle Vue and Cardigan Road PM chapels. Close to the latter, from 1887 the two brothers, both in partnership and individually, undertook an extensive housing development. Their East Riding origins are reflected in such street names as Hessle, Holderness and Howden. Benjamin also had an interest in Clayton Wood Quarries. At his death, William had an estate valued at £169,559 and Benjamin at £139,730.

In Brudenell Road on their Leeds estate they built the Walmsley Orphanage. Their adjacent mission (later sold to the Christadelphians) became PM connexional property in 1914. The orphanage, probably under the influence of Thomas Jackson of Whitechapel, became a Boys Home for those who had appeared before the courts. When the Alresford estate came on the market, Benjamin Walmsley gave his support to its becoming the PM Orphanage (later part of the NCH).

The Walmsley Memorial PM chapels at Newport (1891) and Gilberdyke (1899) were also gifted by the family to the PM connexion.

  • PM Magazine, 1911, p.322; 1914 p.572; 1917, pp.882-3
  • William Beckworth, A Book of Remembrance (1910), passim
  • F. Trowell, 'Speculative Housing Development in thwe suburb of Headingley, Leeds, 1838-1914', in Publications of the Thoresby Society 59(1), 1983, pp.50-118