Young, Dr Dinsdale Thomas
1861-1938; e.m. 1882

Born on 20 November 1861 at Corbridge-on-Tyne, where his father, William Young, a convert to Methodism from the Church of England, practised as a doctor before becoming Medical Officer of Health at Malton, Yorks.

After training at Headingley College, he began a ministerial career of great distinction, especially at Nicolson Square, Edinburgh (1901-1904) and Wesley's Chapel (1906-1914). He was President of the WM Conference in 1914 and from that year until 1938 was minister at Westminster Central Hall. He was a stalwart opponent of 'the higher criticism'. His gifts as a preacher, though avowedly fundamentalist, and as a popular lecturer, advocate of good causes, writer and administrator were used to the full. He travelled some 10,000 miles a year, preaching and lecturing. He published a number of volumes of his sermons, beginning with Unfamiliar Texts, as well as biographies of Peter Mackenzie (1904) and Robert Newton (c. 1910) and an autobiography, Stars of Retrospect: Frank Chapters of Autobiography (1920). His novel The Autobiography of a Commonplace Young Man was based on his own experience and led to a libel case, which he lost. Heroic Leaders originated as Sunday evening talks on outstanding British Christians given at Wesley's Chapel. He was also a regular contributor to religious periodicals such as the British Weekly and the Methodist Recorder. He died on 21 January 1938.

The eldest of his three sons, William Dinsdale Young, became an Anglican priest.


'I am certain of this, that the Bible, as the "higher critics" leave it, can never be vindicated as the Word of God. With such a faulty sword the Church can never win its old victories.' Dinsdale T. Young, Stars of Retrospect (1920) p.199

'Dr. Young believed that he who loves God should love his brother also. He was kindly, courteous, comsiderate in every act and thought.Unlke many who are conservative theologically he never criticised or condemned those who disagreed with his views… He lived in an age when criticism ws shaking the faith or bewildering the mind of the average man…. Dr.Young made his hearers feel his certainty and it was very comforting.It was persuasive, not dogmatic,kindly and never ill-tempered. "I never hear Dr. Young," said one listener, "without feeling a step nearer Heaven." '

Eric S. Watrrhouse

  • Methodist Recorder, 27 Jan. 1938; 30 Nov 1961; 14 January 1999
  • Harold Murray, Dinsdale Young, the Preacher (1938)